Purim for Kids

Purim is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the liberation of all the Jews from the authority of Persian Empire and the extermination of Haman. The purpose of this article is to teach Purim for kids to understand easily. This miraculous deliverance was accomplished through Queen Esther. Purim is observed annually on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar. Like all other Jewish holidays, Purim begins at sundown on the previous secular day. In this holy day, the holy book of Esther is publicly recited, mutual gifts of food and drink are given, and charity is given to poor. The occasion is celebrated with a festive meal, alcohol and by wearing masks and costumes. Wearing masks and costumes makes Purim for kids especially fun.

Different Purims

Shushan Purim

The Jews in Jerusalem and Shushan (Iran) celebrate Purim on the 15th day of Adar known as Shushan Purim. The Book of Esther explains that after Persia conquered Babylonia, the Jews in the un-walled cities fought their enemies on the 13th of Adar and rested on the 14th. But the Jews in the walled capital of Shushan fought their enemies on 13th and 14th and rested on the 15th.

Purim Katan

Purim is celebrated in the second month of Adar in the leap years of the Hebrew calendar. Purim Katan or �Little Purim� is the 14th of the first Adar, which is characterized by all the rituals of proper Purim except the reading of Megillah, charity to poor and fasting on the 13th of the month.

Other Purims
Many Jewish communities across the world celebrate local �Purims� to commemorate the freedom from a particular anti-semitic rule. Vintz is the most popular Purim, traditionally celebrated one week after the regular Purim in Frankfurt am Main.

Many Jewish families observe �family Purims� at home to celebrate escape from accidents, persecutions or any disasters.

The events of Purim were recorded in the Book of Esther. Judaism has always held the holiday of Purim in high esteem. The saying goes like even when all the prophetical and hagiographical works are forgotten; the Book of Esther will still be remembered along with the feast of Purim (Jerusalem Talmud, Megillah 1/5a; Maimonides, Yad, Megillah).

The Four Chief Mitzvoth Of Purim Are

  • Listening to the reading of the Book of Esther in the evening and in the following morning in the synagogue
  • Giving food gifts to friends
  • Charity to poor
  • A celebratory meal

The Rituals Of Purim

The celebration of Purim starts with the reading of the book of Esther (the �Megillah) in the synagogue. This is a regulation ascribed to the �Men of Great Assembly� in the Talmud. Talmud is a later work, which prescribed three benedictions before the reading and one benediction after the reading. According to the Jewish law, the Megillah can be read in any language intelligible to the audience.

Rowdiness in Purim is permitted within the walls of the synagogue. For example, when the reader of Megillah mentions Haman in a public congregation then there are noisy hissing, stamping and rattling.

Burning Of Haman�s Effigy

This custom dates back to Talmudic period. In the 5th century and in 9th and 10th century burning of Haman�s effigy was a custom. However, this burning custom is no longer practiced.

The Purim Meal

On the day of Purim, the evening is the time for a festive meal, Seudat Purim along with alcohol is held.

Masquerading In Purim

This is another prominent and amusing feature of the Jewish festival of Purim. Kids dress up like the protagonists of the Book Of Esther, like Queen Esther and Mordechai. Masking also centers on Biblical personas like King David and the Kohen Gadol or the High Priest. Today modern costume and dresses ranging from policemen to flower girls are also worn.

Thus ends the joyous festivities of Purim for kids and adults alike.

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