Megillah Reading and Purim party
Mon, Mar 9, 5pm
Tue, Mar 10, 11am
Calle de las Moras 45-47
(Corner of Cinco de Mayo)
By Carole Stone
Do you like role playing? Dressing up as someone else? Wearing costumes? Aha! I seem to have captured your interest. Good. If so, then you’ll love celebrating Purim, the only Jewish holiday in which outrageous behavior is encouraged!
Around 400 years before the Common Era, in the country of Persia, King Ahasuerus (possibly Xerxes), whose wife Vashti refused to bow to his requests. In those days, as you know, feminism was frowned upon. So, it was time for the King to find another wife. The King held a contest of all the beautiful girls in the land, and noticed a lovely young woman. Esther, the young woman he noticed, happened to be Jewish, and lived in the Persian city of Shushan with her uncle Mordechai. The King was astounded by her beauty and sweet temperament and chose her for his wife. Not long after, this, her uncle was walking in the street when Haman passed by. Mordechai refused to bow down to the Royal Vizier, because, as he explained, Jews bow only to God. This refusal enraged Haman, and he urged the King to sign a document giving the army permission to exterminate all the Jews from Persia. The King, not realizing Esther was Jewish, complied. When Mordechai heard of this plot, he begged Esther to speak with the King. Now, the custom was that the King had to send for his wife, but she was not supposed to send for the king or risk losing her life. What did she have to lose, if all the Jews were slated to be exterminated? Happily, he came to her smiling, heard her tale and saved the Jews from extermination.
We Jews have a saying: “They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat!” That sentiment sums up many of the Jewish holidays, but on Purim, we’re encouraged to drink as well. Furthermore, we access the “child within.” We dress up, often as the characters in this story: Vashti, Esther, Haman, Mordechai and King Ahasuerus. We eat, we drink, we eat filled three-cornered pastries called Hamantaschen (Haman’s pockets), we listen to the Megillah¾the story of Queen Esther, and each time we hear the name of wicked Haman, we shake noisemakers to blot out the sound of his name.
Join us on March 9th at 5pm for the first Megillah reading, in English and in Spanish, followed by our Annual Purim Party. Please come dressed up as your favorite fantasy, if you wish. On March 10, at 11am we will have the second Megillah reading, followed by snacks and tequila.