Purim is just around the corner. Your congregation is making plans for the celebration, whether those plans include a carnival or a spiel, there is a sense of excitement in the air. These festivities are rooted in the Bible, more specifically in M’gillat Esther.
Every story has its music. The story of Esther, told on Purim, has music – the cantillation of the Megillah (scroll of Esther). But every piece of music also has its story. This essay will share some of the fascinating story behind how we chant parts of the Megillah.
In my household, Purim has been the holiday in which I have taken something “traditional” and turned in on its head!
"Noisemaker" (Hebrew); used to drown out Haman's name during the M'gillah reading on Purim.
Triangle-shaped pastries commonly filled with apricot jam or poppyseed spread (or other fillings) and eaten on Purim; the shape represents Haman's hat or ears
"Scroll;" One of the five m'gillot (plural) in the Bible: Esther, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentation and Ecclesiastes.
"Sending of portions" (Hebrew). Baskets of sweets and other foods exchanged among friends on Purim.
"Lots" (Hebrew). Holiday that commemorates Queen Esther's actions to save the Jews of Persia from death; marked by a festive reading of the story, contained in the Scroll of Esther.
Humorous play performed as part of the celebration of Purim.
"Shabbat of Remembrance;" the Shabbat immediately preceding Purim, it takes its name from the additional Torah portion--Deuteronomy 25:17-19--read that day--which begins with the word zachor (remember).