Time to celebrate: Purim

Purim is one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. This year (2021) Purim begins on Thursday, February 25th, and ends on Friday, February 26th. It commemorates a time when the Jewish people living in the Persian Empire were saved from genocide.

 

It all began in Ancient Persia in the 4th century BCE, when all the Jews were subjects of the dominant Persian empire. Ahasuerus, king of Persia, had his wife Queen Vashti executed for failing to follow his orders. Shortly after he decided to hold a beauty pageant with one purpose- the most beautiful woman would be the new queen of Persia. The winner was Esther, an orphan girl with no interest in being queen, but with a major role to play.

 

Meanwhile, the Jews were threatened by the newly elected Prime Minister of Persia, a man called Haman, who convinced the king to exterminate them. This is when Esther revealed her Jewish beliefs to the king, saving the fate of thousands. The king decided to reverse Haman’s decree, and executed him.

 

It's time to talk about our favorite topic, food! What kinds of foods do we eat in Purim? It is traditional to give gifts of food (Mishloach manot) to neighbors, friends, and family, to ensure that everyone has enough food to feast.

 

It is also very common to eat vegetarian meals when celebrating Purim, especially dishes made with beans. This tradition celebrates Esther, who ate solely beans to avoid non-kosher foods. Other traditional meals are Oznei Haman or Hamentaschen (“ears of Haman”), a triangular cookie usually filled with different flavors of jam, representing either Haman’s ears or his three-cornered hat.

 

We hope that you learned something new today. Have a great day and happy Purim!

 

My Kosher Chef


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