Esther and Purim

The kids and I have been reading through Esther one of my favorite books in the Bible. There are lots of reasons I enjoy it of course as a woman I love that the main character who is also the hero is a woman. The Bible is full of male role models who of course as a women we can also look up to but there is something special about Esther. She was a simple girl, an orphan raised by her cousin, that rose to the greatest position a woman could possess Queen of Persia. Only to risk her very life to save her people. If you are not familiar with Esther, ‘One Night with the King“” is a great film ,which is relatively close to the Biblical account. My favorite line in the movie is just before she goes before the king un-summoned which was punishable by death. When Hegai tries to stop her from going before the king she says that she will be like David before Goliath and he tells her those are just stories. To which she replies, “”Know you what I love most about the story of David and Goliath? David’s victory came not because he fought well, but because he believed well.”” I love that because it shows us the power of faith. You can also watch the trailer at the above link. I would give a word of caution that just because it is a Bible story does not necessarily mean it is kid friendly so I would suggest you watch it first before allowing kids to watch along too.

As I was saying we are reading through Esther when I realized we should be finishing right around the Jewish holiday of Purim. Purim is the celebration of the redemption of the Jews from Haman’s plot to destroy them.
I decided that it would be fun to explore this Jewish celebration. I do not claim to be an expert on Purim nor will we observe it in the same way that the Jews will. I do think it is a wonderful miraculous story that deserves celebrating. So on Tuesday we are celebrating Purim. Purim officially begins at sunset on the 9th and goes to the 11th. We will just be observing the 10th. Some of the activities are to make a gift of food to at least two people and to give to the poor which we are going to do. The story of Esther is read called the ‘Megillah’ we will read it from the Bible. They use a noise maker called a ‘grogger‘ (which incedentally is Yiddish for noise maker), to drown out Haman’s name each time it is mentioned in the story of Esther. I don’t actually have groggers I was going to get some for the kids and then thought better of it and decided I would pass on that this year. So I think I will just have them stomp their feet and boo. We are also going to try our luck at baking Hamentashen a traditional Purim sweet not sure how they will turn out but I am sure it will be fun to try. I have found a whole bunch of activities online for the kids in preperation for Purim. Who knows it could become a new family tradition.

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