The Shalom Club of SaddleBrooke Ranch celebrated Purim on Thursday evening, March 4, at the home of Nini and Ted Falconer. Purim is a fun holiday that commemorates the time when the Jewish people in ancient Persia were saved, as described in the biblical Book of Esther.
Esther was a beautiful Jewish woman who was raised in the home of her cousin, Mordecai. She was taken to the King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) to become part of his harem. She did not tell the king she was Jewish. The king loved Esther above all the other women in his harem.
Haman, advisor to the king, hated Mordecai because Mordecai would not bow down to Haman. Therefore, Haman decided to destroy all the Persian Jews. Mordecai persuaded Esther to speak to the king despite the fact that anyone approaching the king unbidden could be killed. But the king welcomed Esther, and she told him of Haman’s plot to kill all the Jews in the kingdom. The Jewish people were saved, and Haman and his sons were hung on the gallows that were prepared for Mordecai.
Purim is an historical holiday of celebration. Over the centuries Haman has become the embodiment of every anti-Semite in every land. Purim is a time of thankfulness and joyous affirmation of Jewish survival against all odds. Some traditions associated with Purim include the reading of the Book of Esther in the synagogue while wearing costumes and drowning out the name of Haman with noisy “groggers” and other noise. It is a day of gladness, feasting and charitable giving.
To remember the nasty Haman, a hamentaschen or Haman Pocket is served. These are small cookies shaped into triangles and stuffed with fruit preserves. This year our pastry was shipped from New York City by Nini Falconer’s cousin as a gift to us. The cheeriest tradition, mentioned in the scriptures, is to drink until one cannot tell the difference between the words “cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordecai.” Needless to say pretty much everyone brought a bottle of wine to this party!
The Shalom Club provides an opportunity for Jewish residents of SaddleBrooke Ranch, spouses and interested friends to gather for the enjoyment and exploration of Jewish life in contemporary America. All are welcome. For more information, contact Leslie Gordon at 520-333-4009, [email protected]