Last night at sundown the Jewish festival of Purim began. It will extend until sunset tonight. Purim is considered one of the most joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar. It is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar (in late winter/early spring).
This holiday commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s evil plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.”
“Beyond [the] gaiety, [Purim] carries four religious obligations: to hear the Megillah (the Scroll of Esther) read, to distribute largesse to the poor, to make a feast, and to exchange presents with neighbors and friends. This last institution is Shalakh Manos, the Sending of Gifts: things that can be eaten and drunk the same day.” (Herman Wouk, This Is My God, pp. 98–100.)
This is the biblical story of a remarkable and brave woman of faith named Esther.
In many ways, Purim is not just a celebration for Jews, but also a celebration for anyone who loves the Bible. I think, at it’s deepest level, Purim is a celebration of God and His ability to rescue all of those who place their trust in Him.
I have shared this beautiful video previously which depicts the story of Esther, but it is always worth sharing and viewing again! This short film is part of the wonderful LDS Bible Video series, which were created as a free gift to the world, and have been made available for public use. I love the amazing attention to historical detail, and the human emotions shown here.
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS
The story of Esther is a timeless example to each of us to have the courage to stand up for what is right, even if it might cost us our reputation, friendships, a promotion, a job, or even placing our physical safety at risk. What challenges do you face today that require courage like Esther’s? Will you have the courage to do what is right, and place the consequences in God’s hands? – MoSop
Back in the early 90’s I worked as an assistant to a Project Manager on what is called the Heart and Lung Center at Jewish Hospital in Louisville. I was in a construction trailer on the jobsite and loved every minute of seeing the building rise out of the ground. It was a very large project. The architect on the project was Jewish. He was a very nice man, and always took time to talk with me when he came for meetings. I wanted to do something nice for him, so at Purim, I got a small basket with a lid on it and filled it with little wrapped candies and put a note on it that said Happy Purim and gave it to him. You would’ve thought I gave him a treasure. He knew I was a Christian, but he was so appreciative that I knew about his faith and customs. We are called to be a light to the people, and what better way than to honor them whenever we can. I love the Jewish people. The scriptures tell us that those who bless Israel God will bless and those who curse Israel will be cursed. I hope the leaders of our country will remember that. The only reason America has been blessed is because of our blessing of Israel. Our country was born for such a time as this. May we never forget it.
A great story, Lynne! And very wise words. Thank you.
I hope, when the time comes, that I will have courage such as Esther. She’s one of my heroes!
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