Purim Party Planning, Ideas, and Supplies
Sunset March 4 – Sunset March 5, 2015
The holiday of Purim celebrates the victory of the Jewish people over the evil Haman. On the day preceding Purim there is a fast called “The Fast Of Esther”. On Purim itself, the Megillah (Book Of Esther) is read twice, once at night and once during the day. Purim is celebrated by giving charity, sending Shalach Manot (gifts of prepared food) and holding a festive meal.
Purim – An overview
Purim, which is celebrated on the 14th of Adar (February-March), commemorates the foiling of a plot by a Persian minister (Haman) to kill all the Jews in Persia. Purim is observed by Jews around the world. Characterized by feasting and merriment, Purim is typically celebrated in the company of family and friends in a synagogue.
The Purim story is recounted in the Book of Esther (Megillat Esther), which is contained in the Ketuvim section of the Bible (Tanalch). According to the Megillah of Esther, Haman decides to kill all the Jews in Persia after Mordecai, a Jew, refuses to bow down to him. After the Persian king Ahaseurus approves Haman’s plot, Mordecai and his niece Esther, who is also the wife of King Ahaseurus, decide to expose Haman’s plan. On the 14th of Adar, Esther succeeds in foiling the plot, and Haman is hung by orders of King Ahaseurus. The holiday is called Purim, which means lots because Haman is said to have drawn lots in order to determine the day on which the Jews should be slaughtered.
On the 13th of Adar, the day before Purim, Orthodox Jews observe the fast of Esther which lasts until sundown. Usually, two Purim services are held in the synagogue. The first is held in the evening of the 13th of Adar while the second is held on the morning of the 14th. During both services, the Megillat Esther is read in its entirety. While the Book of Esther is being read, it is customary for children to rattle their graggers or noisemakers in a symbolic attempt to blot out the name of Haman. In the late afternoon, a festive meal is eaten. Among the foods typically enjoyed are boiled eggs, beans, and three-cornered pies known as hamantashen (Haman’s pockets). Originally they were called Mohn-tashen, or poppy-seed pockets, but the similarity of the name to Haman made them associated with the villain of Persia. In Hebrew they are called Haman’s ears.
The Book of Esther prescribes certain rituals which are to be performed on Purim. Emphasizing the importance of good deeds and charity, the Megillah of Esther states that individuals must give gifts both to friends and to the poor. Specifically, Jews are required to give two portions of food to at least one friend and must give money to two poor individuals.
On the basis of Italian influence, the holding of a Purim carnival has become common in many countries. During this carnival, Jews dress up in costumes and often perform plays which retell the story of Purim. In Israel, for example, Purim is observed by the holding of the Adloyada festival in Tel Aviv.
Purim Party Invitations and Postage
Hamantaschen Clowns Purim Party Invitation | Helium Hamantaschen Purim Party Invitation | Purim Party Invitation | Purim Costume Masquerade Extravaganza Invitations | Create you Own Invitations with Purim Stickers!
Purim Party Favors
Voted Best Purim Party Favors 2014
A nice addition to any Purim Basket, three-packs of CandyTorahs are adorable and affordable. Parents give them to their children. Teachers can give them to their students. Rabbis can keep them in their pockets and light-up little faces by handing them out around the synagogue. And at your Purim Carnival, they make cute prizes for all the different Purim games! CandyTorahs are a memorable, adorable and Jewish way to mark the occasion. Party Idea Pros loves these favors — their unique appeal is guaranteed to please!
Purim Costumes and Accessories
Purim Costume Accessories
Purim T-shirts and Hats
For the less dramatic –those who wish to get into the Purim spirit but prefer not to wear a full blown costume!
Purim Home and Party Decor
Purim Confetti and Banners
Purim Plates, Trays and Bowls
Purim Paper Goods
Purim Servers and Cookie Cutters
Purim Graggers and Noisemakers
Purim Food – Shalach Manot
courtesy of aJudaica.com
It is obligatory to send a gift which consists of at least two ‘portions’ to another person. Both men and women are included in this Mitzvah.
Only what is edible or drinkable without further cooking or preparation, is considered a ‘portion.’ One may therefore send cooked meats or fish, pastry goods, fruit, sweets, wine and other beverages. And it is the more praiseworthy to send portions to as many friends as possible. Even better, however, is to give more gifts to the poor than to friends.
One of the most popular food items that has been used for this Mitzvah is the Hamentash, a calorific (fattening) concoction consisting of dough shaped into the form of a triangle (with just two possibilities allowed – exactly sixty degrees in each angle or an isosceles right triangle – just kidding!), with filling of various kinds.
Even a poor person is required to fulfill the Mitzvah of ‘Mishloach Manot.’ If one is unable to do so directly, he may exchange his own food for that of his friend; both of whom would thus fulfill their obligations.
The Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot may not be fulfilled with money, clothing and the like, but only with foods or beverages.
It is proper to send portions sufficient to convey regard for the recipient. One should not send an item so minute as to be worthless in the eyes of the poor.
If at all possible, these ‘portions’ should be sent by messengers, rather than to be delivered personally. And though it is said of all other mitzvot: ‘It is more of a Mitzvah if done personally, than if done through a messenger,’ this Mitzvah is different. Since the term, ‘Mishloach Manot’ (the sending of portions), is the term used in the ‘Megillah’ the proper procedure for fulfilling the Mitzvah, is to do so by messenger. Nevertheless, if one delivers his Mishloach Manot personally, he still fulfills his obligation.
The Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot should be performed by day.
A mourner is free of the obligation, but some hold that it rests even upon him, except that one in mourning should not send gifts which would be a source of rejoicing.
The Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot and the giving of gifts to the poor, during the days of Purim, are prescribed in order to recall the brotherly love which Mordechai and Esther awoke among all Jews. When there is inner unity among Jews, even the wrongdoers among them become righteous.
Mishloach Manot, Very Merry Purim Trio Tower Purim Basket | Mishloach Manot! Hand-Dipped Sprinkled Hamantashen | Mishloach Manos Happy Days Wicker Purim Basket | Shalach Manos boxes &bags in assorted patterns and shapes
Judaism 101 – Recipe for Hamentaschen
Purim Activities, Games, and Puzzles
Purim Books, DVD’s and Videos
Purim Books for Children
Children’s Purim Music and Videos
Purim Gifts and Other Purim “Stuff”
Planning a Mitzvah?
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