The term Purim refers to the lottery system that Haman used to decide what day the massacre would take place.
Plays re-enacting the story are popular during Purim.
As we passed a man sprawled on the sidewalk with a bottle next to him, I said to my toddlers, “Yikes! There is a sense of joyful abandon and silliness as we read the (Book of Esther), bottles of booze and little plastic cups making their way around the costumed actors, elders, rabbinate, schmoozers, and revelers of all ages. His Hebrew school class joined us in the sanctuary just as I was preparing to imbibe a generous shot of mystery liquid poured for me by my friend Katherine. But that doesn’t square with what I know about the harmful side of alcohol: It destroys people’s lives. Add to that suffering the misery of all the once-a-year drunks bowing down (as Mordechai refused to do! He investigated the writings of Rava, the Babylonian Rabbi credited with the instruction to get drunk on Purim.
According to Rava, both Haman and Mordechai participated in the reprehensible debauchery that kicks off the Purim story.
During retellings of the Book of Esther at synagogue services, people are encouraged to make a racket and shake noisemakers called groggers at the mention of Haman’s name.
The purpose of the noisy custom is to symbolically blot out Haman’s name from history.While the most traditional filling is poppy seed, they can be made with a variety of fillings including prunes, nuts, apricots, dates, halva, fruit preserves, chocolate, and even funfetti!Except kids hand out treats instead of receiving them.” Since few of us can pass up this traditional treat, below is her recipe, which she credits to her friend Shifra Schwartz: 3 eggs 1 cup sugar ¾ cup canola oil 1/3 cup apple juice or sweet wine 1 T. Even when my children were very young, I worried about alcohol addiction.During the festival, friends give each other foods and celebrants are encouraged to give food and money to the poor as well.Popular costumes include characters from the Book of Esther.Rava believed that Mordechai’s ambition and jealousy – not religious convictions – led him to humiliate Haman and put the entire Jewish community at risk.For Rava, Haman and Mordechai were more similar than different. Rava also believed that wine could help people achieve deeper insight.As for me, I haven’t decided whether I’ll drink on Purim this year, but I’ll definitely be bringing a basket of chocolate hamantaschen to pass around.The book of Esther is one of only two books in the Bible named for women. In the story of Esther, you'll meet a beautiful, young queen who risked her life to serve God and save her people.