What’s not to love about Purim? The costumes, the carnivals, the parades, the hamentashen, the mishloach manot, the groggers, the story.
Speaking of the story, let’s start there, shall we?
The King of Persia, Achashverosh, was having an all out PARTY to celebrate his reign. As part of the fun he wanted his wife Vashti to parade in front of all. When she said NO, he ousted her. Obviously. And held a beauty pageant to find a new wife. Again: Obviously.
The smart Mordechai brought his niece Esther into the wannabe wife running hoping that she’d win the weird little beauty pageant (Which she did.), hide her Judaism to get in good with the King (Which she also did.) and save all Jews from Haman‘s, the King’s Advisor’s, evil plot to exterminate all of the Jews (Which once again, she did.).
At the end of the day, the Jews are saved (Good.), Esther and Achashverosh stay married (Good.) and Haman is killed (Is it wrong to say good here?)
And that’s the story of Purim. Not a bad little tale, right? It absolutely begs retelling and yearly, we Jews do exactly that. We retell, read or act it all out overandoverandover again to our heart’s content.
Last year, our family decided to put on a ‘lil Purim family play and here’s the recap. You’re so welcome!
A Breen Purim Story
The cast, created by the kids, make of it what you will.
Clearly, my point is made here. Purim is all sorts of FUN.
In fact, a direct quote from My Jewish Learning is: It is a day when norms are subverted and reversed to commemorate the reversal of fortune recorded in the Book of Esther.
Not yet convinced? How about this piece of wisdom from Judaism for Dummies: Take the Christian Christmas pageant, add a down-home Halloween and a couple bottles of wine, and you start to get a good idea of the Purim festival.
Okay then, now that we’re all on the same page and are so getting into the Purim spirit, it’s time to explore an important question. What messages are we sending our children with the Purim story and celebrations? Here’s my take on it:
10. They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat. (Low hanging fruit, I know. I grabbed it. Deal.)
9. Costumes are totally where it’s at.
8. If your spouse doesn’t listen to you, it’s totally time for a new one.
7. Speaking of spouses, when choosing one: It’s all in the looks, baby!
6. Lying: It has its place.
5. That whole keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Not so much.
4. When celebrating: Drink, friends. Drink.
3. When you’re sad: Eat cookies. When you’re happy: Eat cookies. When all else fails: Eat cookies.
And the #1 lesson, message and absolute GEM that we can learn from the Purim story? The lesson of all lessons:
Behind every great movement, decision and saving grace that a man makes there’s a totally and completely kick ass woman.
And that my friends, is a holiday that I can stand behind. Completely.
So with that, I wish you the happiest of coming-soon Purims. Prepare those costumes, bake those hamentashen and thoughtfully plan out those mishloach manot. Because Purim? Is a keeper.
Galit Breen is an Israeli freezing her tuchus in Minnesota. On any given day she can be found juggling her husband, three children, and new puggle. Galit has a degree in Human Development, a Masters in Education and ten-plus years experience as a classroom teacher. Galit is now a stay-at-home mom, blogger and freelance writer working on her first book. She has a serious affinity for challah. And hummus. And challah with hummus. Galit blogs regularly at These Little Waves and writes the monthly Minnesota Mamaleh column right here at TCJ. Contact Galit at [email protected]
I love your take on Purim, along with the photos showing the reenactment of the story.
Our house will be filled with family/friends for seudah this year…something like 24 people. It’s good practice for Pesach! (don’t worry, it’s potluck)
I’m not so into wearing costumes anymore when I go to hear the megilla, but I do like to bring along a rubber chicken. That thing serves as my “greggar” — and man, can he belt it out when he’s squeezed upon my hearing “Haman”.
Megillah reader: “….Haman…”
As for Mishloach Manot– that can get out of hand when you have 3 kids with lots of friends. I prepare a few individual packages, some generic ones to have ready, but for the past few years have mainly been sending donation cards in lieu of Mishloach Manot to our friends. A better way of marking the holiday than biting down on some hard candy that might break a filling!
Every time you post about your holiday traditions, it reminds me of the years we celebrated all of the Jewish holidays growing up. It makes me very nostalgic.
So thanks for sharing. I love this window into your rich heritage.
I love it!!!
I take issue with #7. A closer look at the text reveals that the contestants were judged not by looks…but by skills. Which is a better message, in theory. Of course, the skills were of the bedroom type 😉
A fun, frivolous approach to Purim. Perfect!!!
There are, of course, some serious lessons to learn…but let’s save that for another time.
In the meantime, be happy, it’s Adar!!!
I love the story of the Megillah. Here’s my favorite article about Esther’s emergence as a true heroine:
completely made us smile (i had to read the list to my dear hubby)
love the family re-enactment. i might have to try that one at home. my fave lesson of purim? giving other people cookies makes them happy too!
Hamantashen—Poopy Seed, please…! LOTS of Poppy Seeds….My mother and my grandmother made the BEST Hamantashen, ever ever ever….! YUM!!!! I think that was always my favorite part of Purim, besides the Costumes! Happy Purim to you all….!
Such wonderful photos…that will have your family remembering, years down the road. Cuties…all of you.
I love the message you are sending your kids. I totally agree with #1, #8 and #9. Happy Tuesday!
I Love it! And I’m always learning about something from you Galit – thank you. The wonderful messages you share with your children in such creative and fun ways is to be admired. HUGS!
Purim is by far my favorite holiday! When else can I channel my inner Lady Gaga and Nigella Lawson all in one boozy day?
I have never heard that story before, but I like it!