More Moments About Esther 9:20–32

Wendy Blight

What does a typical Purim festival look like today? Not at all what I thought!

Modern day Purim is more of a national holiday than a religious festival. However, it does begin in the synagogue with the reading of the Megilla (the scroll of Esther). Children, and even some adults, dress up as their favorite character from the story of Esther. During the reading of the story, the people will cheer at the mention of Mordecai and Esther. But, when Haman’s name is spoken, they stomp and yell to blot out his name. Some say it is done to remember the commandment from God to “blot out the name of Amalek” (Exodus 17:14).

After the reading of the scroll, the celebration spills out into streets and homes with parades, singing, dancing, costumes, eating and the drinking of wine. But, in addition to the fun, Purim requires the people give to charity … to at least two people. Everyone gives what they can, and often more, reflecting the generosity God has extended to them.

Purim is a celebration of the triumph of justice. Still today, especially during Purim, the Jews stand together against modern-day Hamans, who threaten Israel and the entire Middle East with annihilation.

Major Moment: The holiday of Purim is established.

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