Holiday of Purim Celebrated in Israel and the Jewish World

  • Purim is a time of joy for Jews all over the world.
  • The holiday of Purim celebrates a miracle which happened in Biblical times.
  • Purim this year is under Corona restrictions limiting gatherings.

Judaism is the biblical religion of the Jewish people which is based on the teachings of the Bible the Old Testament which were given by God to Moses at Mount Sinai. In Jewish tradition there are three major holidays Passover, Sukkot and Shevuot. Passover commemorates the Exodus of the Jewish people from slavery to King Pharoah in Egypt. Sukkot commemorates the period of forty years after Passover in which the Jews lived in the Wilderness of Sinai on the way to the land of Israel. Shavuot which means weeks commemorates the period of time of seven weeks between Passover and the giving of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai.

The tomb of Mordecai and Esther in Hamadan Iran.

The sages added two additional holidays to the Jewish Calendar which are Hannukah and Purim. Hannukah commemorates the rededication of the second holy temple in Jerusalem and the lighting of the Menorah the Candelabra in the temple with pure oil. The holiday of Hanukah is celebrated for eight days when are lit outside the homes of Jews a Menorah of eight candle lights. On Hanukah Jews display their pride for being a holy nation in the world. Purim is another holiday added to the Jewish Calendar which will be celebrated this weekend.

In the period of exile of the Jewish people in Babylon from Israel after the destruction of their temple there was a decree by a wicked minister of the Persian empire Haman that on the day of Purim would be extermination of all the Jews. This decree was cancelled by the valiant efforts of the leader of the Jewish people Mordecai and a valiant woman Esther who penetrated the kingdom of Persia and became one of the wives of the emperor Achashverosh. Queen Esther a beautiful woman loved by the King interfered with the plans of Haman and coaxed King Achashverosh to reverse his decree. In the place of the Jews being executed, the wicked minister Haman and his sons were hung on posts in the city of Shushan in Persia Iran.

The customs of celebration of the holiday of Purim are to read a long story about the miracle of Purim called the Megillah of Esther, to give food packages to friends, and to give charity to the poor. At the end of the holiday is a meal called the Meal of the miracle of Purim where it is a custom to get intoxicated with wine and beverages and to relate the story of the miracle of Purim. On Purim Jewish children wear costumes relating to the characters involved in the salvation of the Jewish people through the miracle of Purim. The holiday is for one day. In Jerusalem the holiday is celebrated a day later than in all of Israel because it was a walled city.

Yudi Edelstein Minister of Health in Israel will announce tonight the Corona restrictions for celebration of Purim. Last year Corona Pandemic came a suddenly at Purim time and caused many people to become ill.

The message of Purim is that Judaism and the nation of Israel will survive their exile until the time of the coming of the Messiah. God chose the Jewish people as a particular family in the history of man on earth to be for him the representatives of the Torah, the five books of Moses. Through the observance of the laws of the Torah the Jewish nation has survived until today.

This year because of the Corona Pandemic the celebrations in Israel will be limited to small congregations. Last year when arrived the Corona virus in Israel was being celebrated the holiday of Purim when these gatherings became vessels for the spreading of the virus. The religious cities like Bnei Brak became infected from the virus far beyond other cities in the country, Minister of Health Yudi Edelstein will demand a curfew from 8 PM to 5AM during the three days of the holiday celebrations. There are expected to be many illegal celebrations in Ultra-Orthodox communities which throughout the Pandemic have been difficult to control.

Four million Israelis have already been vaccinated which is almost half of the Jewish population. Research is being done in various places in Israel on other possible medical solutions for ending the Corona Pandemic. With the help of God through medicines and vaccines the Corona Pandemic will end where it will no longer be necessary to have lockdowns and to wear face covers.

David Wexelman

Rabbi David Wexelman is the  author of five books on the topics of World Unity and Peace, and Progressive Jewish Spirituality. Rabbi Wexelman is a member of the American Friends of Maccabee, a charitable organization helping the poor in the United States and in Israel.  Donations are tax deductible in the USA.

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