|Dancing in Purim costumes|
Purim celebrates a story in the biblical Megillat Esther (Book of Esther), in which Queen Esther saves the Jewish people from (Ahasuerus advisor) Haman's plot to destroy them.
This year, 2014, Purim started after sunset on Saturday, March 15, and continues for two days until Monday, March 17. In the Hebrew calender, a day begins at sunset on the previous day.
Purim eve, 2009, Tel Aviv's tree-lined Rothschild Boulevard was a virtual sacred space where the Megilla reading, singing, playacting, and music blared under glowing night-lights while children and dogs wandered around and beneath rows of white plastic chairs.
On this holiday (observed with fanciful costumes), the spirited multigenerational crowd also listened to Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau's history lessons and encouragement. Other highlights included "Secrets of the Palace," an enactment of the Purim story told in the Megilla, awards for best costumes, and merry singing and dancing — all celebrating the festival in which, instead of being annihilated, the Jews lived.
Watch my video (5:13 minutes).
Four mitzvot, commandments on observing Purim:
- Listen to the reading of Megillat Esther
- Participate in the Purim feast
- Send Mishloach manot, gifts to friends
- (most important) Give Matanot LaEvyonim, gifts to the needy
My Purim posts