21 Facts About Purim


Purim's plans were foiled by Mordecai of the tribe of Benjamin, and Esther, Mordecai's cousin and adopted daughter who had become queen of Persia after her marriage to Ahasuerus.

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In cities that were protected by a surrounding wall at the time of Joshua, Purim was celebrated on the 15th of the month of Adar on what is known as, since fighting in the walled city of Shushan continued through the 14th day of Adar.

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Purim is the plural of Hebrew pur, meaning casting lots in the sense of making a random selection.

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Purim's refusal prompts Ahasuerus to have her removed from her post.

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Purim finds favor in the King's eyes, and is made his new wife.

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Primary source relating to the origin of Purim is the Book of Esther, which became the last of the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible to be canonized by the Sages of the Great Assembly.

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Purim follows the Hebrew Book of Esther but shows awareness of some of the additional material found in the Greek version in that he too identifies Ahasuerus as Artaxerxes and provides the text of the king's letter.

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Purim provides additional information on the dating of events relative to Ezra and Nehemiah.

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Purim refers to a Jewish woman who had married the Persian King Bahman, and delivered her people, thus corroborating this identification of Ahasuerus.

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Purim has more of a national than a religious character, and its status as a holiday is on a different level from those days ordained holy by the Torah.

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Purim spiel is a comic dramatization that attempts to convey the saga of the Purim story.

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Songs associated with Purim are based on sources that are Talmudic, liturgical and cultural.

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In Moroccan Jewish communities, a Purim bread called ojos de Haman is sometimes baked in the shape of Haman's head, and the eyes, made of eggs, are plucked out to demonstrate the destruction of Haman.

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Shushan Purim falls on Adar 15 and is the day on which Jews in Jerusalem celebrate Purim.

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Purim is celebrated on Adar 14 because the Jews in unwalled cities fought their enemies on Adar 13 and rested the following day.

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Later, in deference to Jerusalem, the Sages determined that Purim would be celebrated on Adar 15 in all cities which had been enclosed by a wall at the time of Joshua's conquest of the Land of Israel.

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Since today we are not sure where the walled cities from Joshua's time are, the only city that currently celebrates only Shushan Purim is Jerusalem; however, Rabbi Yoel Elizur has written that residents of Bet El and Mevo Horon should observe only the 15th, like Jerusalem.

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When Shushan Purim falls on the Sabbath, the holiday is celebrated over a period of three days.

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The weekly Torah portion is read as usual, while the Torah portion for Purim is read for maftir, and the haftarah is the same as read the previous Shabbat, Parshat Zachor.

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Rabbi Yom-Tov Lipmann Heller of Krakow, Poland, asked that his family henceforth celebrate a private Purim, marking the end of his many troubles, including having faced trumped-up charges.

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Since Purim is preceded by a fast day, the rabbi directed his descendants to have a fast day, the 5th day of Tamuz, marking one of his imprisonments, this one lasting for 40 days.

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