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The jolly festival of Purim

Purim, celebrated on the 14th of Adar, is the most fun-filled, action-packed day of the Jewish year. It commemorates our nation’s miraculous salvation more than two millennia ago. Purim 2019 begins Wednesday night, March 20 and continues through Thursday, March 21, (March 22 in Jerusalem).

Megillat Esther, “The Scroll of Esther,” is a firsthand account of the events of Purim, written by the heroes themselves—Esther and Mordechai. By special request of Esther to the Sanhedrin, the Megillah was included as one of the 24 books of the biblical canon.

The Megillah is read on Purim: once on Purim night, and again on the following day. The Megillah reading is preceded and followed by special blessings.

It is a mitzvah to hear all of the Megillah reading. Thus, it is very important to be absolutely quiet during the reading, allowing everyone to hear every word clearly. It is customary to follow along with the reader.

For those unable to make it to synagogue, Megillah may be read at home, provided that it is read from an authentic scroll by someone familiar with the exact pronunciation of the Hebrew words.

When Jews meet each other on the joyous holiday of Purim, they greet each other with wishes of “happy Purim.”

In Hebrew, you say “chag Purim samayach” (write it חג פורים שמח and pronounce it KHAG poo-REEM sah-MAY-akh).

In Yiddish, the traditional blessing is for “ah freilichen Purim” (write it א פרייליכן פורים and pronounce it ah FRAY-likh-en POO-rim).

Happy Purim from your friends @!