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(March 5, 2015)

Purim, which falls on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Adar (in a leap year it is the second Adar), marks the climax of a series of "extraordinary coincidences," which were God's clandestine intervention to save the Jewish people from Haman's plan to destroy them. God's messengers, Mordechai and Queen Esther, intercede with King Ahasuerus to thwart the evil plan, and the Jews are able to avenge themselves against their enemies, reaffirm their allegiance to Judaism, and reach new spiritual heights. Celebration of this holiday includes four particular mitzvos, commandments: the reading of Megillas Esther, the scroll that tells the story of Purim; a special festive meal; the exchanging of food packages between neighbors and friends; and the giving of charity to the poor. In addition, to create the joyous holiday mood, it is customary to dress in amusing costumes; to shake loud noisemakers when Haman's name is recited during the synagogue reading of the Megillah, to eat three-cornered, filled pastries called hamantashen; and to drink a lot of wine or even hard liquors, in reasonable moderation.
Browse the ArtScroll.com selection of Megillahs and other books available for Purim.