What is Purim all About Anyway? Find out at Sim Shalom's Online Purim Party and Megilla Reading for the World

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Why do kids and adults dress up in costume and what goes on during the Jewish Festival of Purim? Find out at Sim Shalom's Online Synagogue on Saturday Night March 15th at 7PM EST.

Rabbi Blane's daughters dressed up for Purim

Rabbi Blane will select his choice for the "Most Deliciously Hamen of all the Tashen in NYC!

Did you ever wonder why all the little kids get dressed up in costume and head to the Synagogue? Is this the Jewish Halloween? Rabbi Steven Blane of Online Synagogue Sim Shalom offers some answers to prepare you for a live streaming Purim Service on March 15th at 7PM.

"Purim is a Jewish Festival in which the evil Minister of the King of Persia by the name of Haman threatened to destroy all the Jews in the Kingdom in approximately 400 B.C.E. No one can really be sure of the date- nor in fact, if the event really happened at all. But perhaps because the ending is so compelling, the story and the legend has deep roots in the Jewish Community," says Rabbi Blane.

Haman’s plot was foiled by a Jewish man named Mordechai and his adopted daughter Esther- who had risen to become the Queen of Persia by not revealing she was Jewish and by finding favor in the King’s eyes.

The day of deliverance from this tyranny has become known as Purim- which literally means “lots.” In the story of Purim, the date that the Jews in the Kingdom would be killed was to be determined by a “lottery.”

But the date we remember is the date of deliverance which has became a day of feasting and rejoicing. In the Hebrew Calendar, that date is the fourteenth day of the Hebrew Month of Adar. In 2014, this date occurs on Saturday evening March 15th.

To celebrate this joyful Holiday, Jews around the world listen to the public reading of the story (Megilla) usually in a synagogue, of the Book of Esther. They also send food gifts to friends (mishloach manot). This Holiday is particularly popular with young children- and adults- as they are encouraged to dress in costume as characters from the story or in any costume they like when they come to synagogue to hear the reading of the Megilla.

You can hear the sounds of the “Graggers” (noisemakers) and joyful screams of the community as they “blot out” the name of Haman each time his name is read in the story. The community celebrates by performing Purimspiels, which are funny plays that parody the Purim story and by eating "Hamantashen," pastries filled with prune, poppy seed or different Jams.

This year, online synagogue Sim Shalom will offer a Purim Service on Sat. March 15th at 7PM for everyone around the world!

And as a special event during the Service, from among five of the most delicious bakeries in Manhattan, Rabbi Blane will select his choice for the "Most Deliciously Hamen of all The Tashen!"

People are encouraged to snap pictures of themselves in costume and upload them to the Sim Shalom Facebook page. From there they will be streamed around the world live during the Service!

So join Rabbi Blane- in costume of course- on Sat. March 15th at 7pm for a Purim Megilla Reading you will never forget!!!

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Rabbi Steven Blane
Sim Shalom
+1 (201) 560-2936
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Rabbi Steven Blane
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JSLI- Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute

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