freilichen purim!


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or purim sameach to all yehudim on CR. Yay Purim! Tonight begins the festival of lots.

didymus said:
How is this fesival celebrated?

1. Hearing the scroll of Esther read publicly, drowning out the name of Haman with noisemakers, stomping, etc. It is traditionally supposed to be heard twice I think, once on the eve and once in the morning. I will be avoiding the evening crowd because it is too family-oriented. I feel out of place at family-oriented events right now.

2. Giving gifts of food to friends or the poor and/or donations to the poor. Although traditionally it's been about food.

3. Dressing in costume.

4. Celebrating. Usually accompanied by drinking though there is debate as to how excessive the drinking should be because there is a statement in the Talmud that one should be so drunk he can't tell the difference between mordechai and haman, and then a story about someone getting drunk, killing someone else, and then wishing them back life and saying they never should have drunk that much (or something similar to that. I may have said that incorrectly but that's the general message of the passage.) I think generally if someone's a happy drunk it's permitted and if not, it's not permitted because it's a joyous celebration and an individual should celebrate joyously.

5. There is a tradition to do a Purim speil, a play, that pokes fun at the leaders of the community in a friendly way. And also carnivals often happen.

For more info:

Because of the way the Jewish calendar works, Pesach doesn't come for a month. Yay leap months!

didymus said:
Might there be casting of lots also?

No. There's nothing ritually based around the idea of lots. Haman uses lots to determine when he will wipe out the Jews, but "lots/luck" works against him and in the end he is killed for his attempted genocide of the Jewish people. Everything flips on its head. It's a crazy topsy-turvy story that makes no explicit mention of God.