Passover 2016 begins at sunset on Friday April 22nd. Whether you are hosting a small intimate seder or organizing a community-wide seder, there is still time to order your Passover supplies and all the little extras that will make your Pesach celebration even more memorable than usual.
Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post >> The latest Adele/Beiber Passover Mashup is a must watch! #toofunny
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.
The holiday of 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.
When is Purim Celebrated
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.
My children still tease me about some of our Chanukah traditions. I must admit, with eight days of Hanukkah gift giving and a limited budget, I often found myself pushing the boundaries of creativity. I often used the holiday to buy them “gifts” that satisfied “needs” rather than “wants” and always designated at least one day to reinforce the importance of Judaism and the Jewish traditions of performing mitzvot and giving tzedakah.
FYI >> We always switched up the order of the nights so the kids never knew which night would be the dreaded (often embarrassing) personal hygiene night
This week has the potential of being a profoundly spiritual week for millions of people across America. Not only did Jews across the world celebrate Yom Kippur, a day of atonement and repentance, a day reflection and meditation, Pope Francis landed in Washington, D.C and immediately began sharing his message of love for all. Today we sincerely hope that the Pope's message will remind us all, no matter our personal religious faith or affiliation, to find the courage to make our lives a blessing, today and everyday. Continue Reading →
It must be the weekend because we are on quite the wine roll – first Portuguese wines and now kosher Israeli wines. This email from Judaism.com just appeared in our inbox. As you know, we are always suckers for a cause and the fact that now through August 30, 2014 Judaism.com will donate 5% of your order to the families of Israeli fallen soldiers pushes this to the top of our to do list. With this incentive, we encourage all of you who are planning on hosting family and friends for Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippor, or Sukkot to stock up on wines from Israel. Plan ahead and buy now! All Judaism.com wines are Kosher. They stock delicious table wines, kiddish wines, dessert wines, sparkling wines, cooking wines and even wine gift sets.
As we have so often mentioned, it is our visitors who inspire these posts. One of the most common questions we are asked is where to find specialty kippah (yarmulke) for themed events like weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. And well over 50% of our clients are specifically seeking sports kippah. Sometimes my go to Judaica stores carriy them but truthfully, although I have seen generic sports kippah (i.e. football kippah or basketball kippah) I have never seen such an extensive collection of custom MLB & NBA team kippot at such reasonable prices as those available on Fanatics. Some people are more traditional but if the honoree is a sports fan, we really do not think there is anything wrong with adding a hint of personality to even the most formal events. In our oh so humble opinion, it is the little touches that transform a wedding from pinterest inspired to warm and hamish. We can just picture the groom and groomsmen walking down the aisle in their sharp black tux, crisp white shirts, handsome bow ties, and their Padres sports kippah! And even if you can't quite bring yourself to advertise your favorite team at your wedding, these yarmulkes also make fun gifts. Think Father's Day, Chanukah, or any day!