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[Updated: 2024.02.27] 


Adloyada Parade (Purim 1998, Ra'anana)Adloyada Parade (Purim 1999, Ra'anana)
Click to enlargeAdloyada Parade — Yael's class's turn to perform their dance (Purim 1998, Ra'anana; © 1998 Yirmeyahu Ben-David)Click to enlargeAdloyada Parade — one of the classes from a local school (Purim 1999, Ra'anana; © 1999 Yirmeyahu Ben-David)

clay Yale Babylonian Collection)
Click to enlarge2.7 cm³ Neo-Assyrian clay pūr; (Lot of Yahali, Turkey; Yale Babylonian Collection) 

פּוּרִים, Hebrew plural from Akkadian-Babylonian pūr, is the celebration of the deliverance of the Jews of ancient Iran (Persia) from the villain Hã•mãnꞋ (not "HEY-men"), related in the book of Es•teirꞋ (actually Ha•dasꞋãh; Hellenized to 'Esther').

Scholars have long noted that the only similarities Pūr•im has are found in Babylonian and Persian (modern Iranian)—i.e. pagan—festivals, not like any Ta•na״khꞋ-based festival.

The most widely celebrated פּוּרִים festivity among Israeli Jews, also attracting the great majority who don't go to Beit ha-KᵊnësꞋët, is the עַדְלָיָדַע parade. In Ra•a•nanꞋã(h), this is typically held on the Yom Shish•iꞋ before פּוּרִים. The main features are all of the various classes of the area's elementary through high schools parading by — some stopping periodically to dance, along with floats made by the high school grades.

Yael in Marge Simpson costume (Purim 2000)
Yael in Marge Simpson costume (Purim 2000; © 2000 Yirmeyahu Ben-David)

The eve features the recitation of Mәgil•atꞋ Es•teirꞋ. The pã•rãsh•ãhꞋ is Shәm•otꞋ 17.8-16.

Today, Jews (only) offer a symbolic annual half-Shëqël before Minkhãh and the reading of the Mәgilãh at פּוּרִים. Outside of Israel, the local half-coin is offered (half-dollar, etc.) with the proceeds going to the poor.

During the recitation of Esteir, unlike other communities of Orthodox Jews, the Tei•mãn•imꞋ don't make noise after the name Hã•mãnꞋ. Also, the congregation repeats aloud, after the reader, the following pәsuqim after the reader: 2.5; 7.10; 8.15-16 & 10.3. (Reading a translation does not satisfy the mi•tzәw•ãhꞋ.)

The custom of מִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת has continued among Yәhud•imꞋ since Ës•teirꞋ 9.19,22. The Nәtzãr•imꞋ, and increasingly Orthodox rabbis, recommend providing מִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת to poor, hospitalized, shut-in and elderly Jews rather than swapping sweets with one's usual Jewish friends and neighbors.

Aznei Haman
אָזְנֵי הָמָן

One of the most popular traditional פּוּרִים sweets is a triangular cookie with a poppy seed (or date, prune, etc.) filling. Probably, Hã•mãnꞋ had big ears because these cookies are called אָזְנֵי הָמָן. Assimilated European Jews Germanize this to "Hamantaschen," Yiddish (which we avoid along with any other assimilation) for "Haman's pockets."

Check with local senior homes, hospitals and the Jewish Community Center (JCC) for rarely-visited or unemployed Jewish residents and bring them a kã•sheirꞋ (or none at all!) מִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת. Work with the JCC.

All of the children, and many adults, come in costumes. In our Beit ha-KәnësꞋët, there's a party for the children immediately after the recitation of MᵊgilꞋat Ës•teirꞋ and another party, later in the evening, for the adults.

Pay it forward (Quote & Cite):

Yirmeyahu Ben-David. Purim (2024.02.27). Netzar­im Jews World­wide (Ra'anana, Israel). (Accessed: MM DD, YYYY).

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