Bad Bad Boy.

Purim begins Saturday night, March 11 and continues through Sunday, March 12, 2017 (March 13 in Jerusalem)

Each year, Jewish children are retold the story of Esther, the hero of Purim. Ester was a young, beautiful woman in Persia, raised by her pious cousin Mordecai. The villain of the story is Haman.

Haman (Also known as Haman the Agagite המן האגגי, or Haman the evil המן הרשע) is the main antagonist in the Book of Esther, who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was a vizier in the Persian empire under King Ahasuerus, traditionally identified as Xerxes I.

Purim is celebrated annually according to the Hebrew calendar on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar (and on Adar II in Hebrew leap years that take place every 2 to 3 years), the day following the victory of the Jews over their enemies.

Steps to follow during Purim

1.Read the Purim story.
2.Prepare the Purim baskets (mishloach manot)
3.Fast on the day preceding Purim.
4.Dress up.
5.Hear the Megillah (Book of Esther) read aloud at a congregation or synagogue.
6.Give gifts of charity (Metanot La'evyonim) to the poor.
7.Prepare or partake in a festive meal.

The Story in a Nutshell

The Persian Empire of the 4th century BCE extended over 127 lands, and all the Jews were its subjects. When King Ahasuerus had his wife, Queen Vashti, executed for failing to follow his orders, he arranged a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favor in his eyes and became the new queen, though she refused to divulge her nationality.

Meanwhile, the Jew-hating Haman was appointed prime minister of the empire. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews (and Esther’s cousin), defied the king’s orders and refused to bow to Haman. Haman was incensed, and he convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar, a date chosen by a lottery Haman made.

Mordechai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to G‑d. Meanwhile, Esther asked the king and Haman to join her for a feast. At a subsequent feast, Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity. Haman was hanged, Mordechai was appointed prime minister in his stead, and a new decree was issued, granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.

On the 13th of Adar, the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar, they rested and celebrated. In the capital city of Shushan, they took one more day to finish the job.

Mordecai resided in Susa (Shushan or Shoushan), the metropolis of Persia (now Iran). He adopted his cousin (Esther 2:7), Hadassah (Esther), an orphan child, whom he brought up as if she were his own daughter.
(first posted by http://www.chabad.org/ )

Shalom

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