My first Purim party happened last Thursday evening. I, together with a couple friends, went to the local synagogue to take part in the Purim festivities. For those that don’t know what Purim is, it’s the celebration of the Lord’s liberation of the Jews from evil Haman’s plot to have them all killed. It is called Purim because a lot was cast to determine the day the massacre would happen and “pur” means “lot” (as in to cast lots).

I don’t understand some of the traditions associated with purim such as dressing up (much like Holloween, they dress up in costumes and it is even tradition that men dress up as women on this night). The Rabbi was dressed as an 80s rock star, including tight jeans, make-up and a long blonde wig. Before he started saying the blessing of Purim (yelling it out in fake air-guitar notes) I thought he was supposed to be a woman. There were other adults who were dressed up also, and most of the children. They read the book of Esther (the children acted parts of it out in a puppet-theatre – it was totally cute) and whenever the name Haman was said everyone made as much noise as possible stomping their feet, drumming their drums or twirling their noise makers to drown it out.

After all that was over, an offering was passed around for the needy (in this case it was for mentally ill people in our area) as is the tradition on Purim. A social time came next, with yummy snacks, wine, and of course, Hamentashen! Hamentashen are little pastries that are shaped like triangles with fruit-filling in the middle. They are said to be in the shape of Haman’s hat. I’m not sure why you’d want to eat Haman’s hat (wouldn’t you want to spit on it and stomp on it if you hated him so much?) but there you have it, one of the traditions I just don’t understand. However, if you have not had Hamentashen, consider yourself unfortunate, because they’re totally delicious! The ones there at the party were good, but didn’t come close to how good my gentile Christian friend’s were. Granted, some of the ones at the party came from Albertson’s and not a Jewish mom’s kitchen.

After the party we took a walk around the neighborhood near the synagogue and talked about what we had just experienced, among other things. It was a fun night and I’m glad I went and got to experience it. Anyway, it’s always been a good experience for me being around God’s chosen people in fellowship. :)

Friday I had the day off work so I chose to do some work around the house and watch a movie on queen Esther called One Night With The King. I figured it was appropriate since it was still Purim. :)

Some of Andrea’s Hamentashen (picture taken right before my snack was eaten!):