Hero of the Purim story. A young Jewish girl living in the capital city, Shushan, she is chosen by King Ahashverosh to be his new queen. She doesn’t tell him, however, that she is Jewish.
The king’s vizier (adviser), a main character in the Purim story. Haman wants everyone in the kingdom to bow down to him, but Mordechai (a Jew) refuses. This leads Haman to decide to kill all the Jews, and he convinces the king to allow the plan.
“Presents for the poor” (Hebrew). Tzedakah (charitable giving) in honor of Purim.
A main character of the Purim story, Mordechai was Esther’s cousin, who raised her after her parents died. He saves the king’s life when he overhears a plot against the king.
The tradition of parents blessing their children on Friday nights as the Sabbath begins. The words for the blessing come from the Priestly Benediction in the Torah (Numbers 6:24-26).
The blessing recited over bread and any meal that includes bread. This blessing thanks God for bringing forth bread from the earth.
Literally, “Sabbath of peace.” Shabbat shalom is the customary greeting on Shabbat.
Literally, “four species.” The Torah specifies four species to bring together on Sukkot. The four species are: lulav (branches of palm trees), etrog (citron), hadasim (myrtle branches), and aravot (willows) (Leviticus 23:40).