Kindred’s Special: Jewish Tradition of Purim (“poor-im”) Begins March 4th

At sundown of March 4th begins another Jewish celebration world-wide called Purim which is based upon the book of Esther.  Purim is the plural form of “the lot” referred to in Esther 3:7 when the lot was cast to determine the day Haman’s wicked plot to annihilate the Jewish people of Persia would be carried out.

The heroine of Purim is Queen Esther.  God used her beauty to place her in the king’s court as the story unfolds so that the Jews would have an advocate at court when the plot unfolded.  Esther was a courageous woman who risked her own safety and life with her plea to the king.  The book of Esther records those wanting to destroy the Jewish people were themselves destroyed.

Purim is a time to reflect on God’s sovereign role in the preservation of the Jewish people. Thus, it is a time for celebration that include parties and pageants where children dress up as various characters from the book of Esther.  The book of Esther is read in the synagogue with lots of noisy cheering and booing.  It is also a time for jokes and pranks among many who consider it a Jewish version of April Fools Day.

Christians might think of Purim as God’s promise made to the Jewish people.

In Esther 4:14 a useful reminder of the book written for those who seek God’s word: “Yet, who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”  Courage such as displayed by Queen Esther is contagious in the spirit of love and sacrifice to destroy evil doers. History seems to give many examples of knights in armor being in the right place at crucial moments.  The time clock of human emotion and valor continues.

I have been given wisdom of Jewish traditions through having supported the faith of Jews for Jesus in spreading the Gospel. Reading the writings of David Brickner, executive director, has enriched my understanding of Jewish thought as well.

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9 Responses to “Kindred’s Special: Jewish Tradition of Purim (“poor-im”) Begins March 4th”

  1. kindredspiritks Says:

    I wrote this on the eve of Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to the US Congress who related this important episode in Jewish history.-Don.

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