We developed these resources to help you, your family, students and community enhance your Purim. We hope they help you educate, engage, motivate and inspire others to action.
We strongly encourage you to read last year’s booklet in its entirety and determine in advance which topics to present to your children and students. Please note that not all topics are suitable for all ages and as such we recommend that you prepare in advance and only present content suited to your target audience.
Below is a list of ways to brighten others Purim and two easy, quick, fun and meaningful hands on projects.
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As always, we welcome your feedback and would love to hear how these impacted and added to your celebration. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIY Project! Make your own grogger!
Design or create your own noisemakers to use when listening to the Megillah and partaking in making noise when Haman’s name is read.
— Two paper plates (any size works!)
— Buttons, beads, or paper clips (whatever you have at home to fill your grogger with)
— Markers, color pencils, paint, washi tape, or stickers, or whatever you have at home to decorate your grogger
— A stapler
— Optional: craft stick (if you would like the grogger to have a handle)
— Optional: embellishments such as sequins, pom poms, or gems
Purim Tissue Paper Collage Clown
-Make clown hats or any kind of funny hat with card stock and decorate the hat.
-With strips of card stock, make accordion folded legs and arms.
-Cut eyes, nose and mouth from card stock.
-Punch a hole in the top of the hat and provide string or ribbon for hanging.
The Four Mitzvot of The Day:
The Reading of the Megillah (Mikra Megillah)
Megillat Esther is read twice on Purim, once in the evening and once in the morning. Men and women must hear every word of the Megillah to fulfill the Mitzvah. The Megillah reminds us of all the hidden good that G-d does for us each day!
Sending Gifts (Mishloach Manot)
We send two portions of food to one person. The mitzvah is intended to strengthen comradeship and unity among the Jews. This is supposed to counter Haman’s claim that the Jews were “scattered and dispersed” rather than unified (Esther 3:8).
The Festive Purim Meal (Seudat Purim)
It is a Mitzvah to have a lavish festive meal on Purim with meat and wine. The Seudah starts during daylight on Purim afternoon and may continue well into the night. One should drink until he can no longer distinguish between Haman and Mordechai. However, one should not become so drunk that they become negligent in performing Mitzvot.
Gifts to the poor (Matanot L’Evyonim)
Money should be given to two different needy recipients to enable them to purchase food for a meal. If someone has excess funds available, it is more important to spend them on donating to the poor, rather than on additional Mishloach Manot or on an elaborate Purim Seudah. The Rambam tells us that there is no greater joy than to gladden the hearts of the needy, as well as those of orphans and widows (Hilchot Megillah 2:17).
Costume: We dress up on Purim to remind us all of the hidden miracles that God performed behind the scenes to save the Jews from the evil Haman. Head over to the nearest costume shop and get ready to win the contest!
Eating Hamantashen: We eat these delicious sweet-filled cookies to remind us of how God saved us from the evil Haman. Whether they symbolize his hat, ears, or pockets, don’t miss out on this delectable treat!
Shaking the Grogger: Let’s make some noise! We shake the grogger during Megillah reading every time we hear Haman’s name being called out. This is to wipe out his name and symbolize the Jewish nation’s ability to wipe out our enemies.
Introducing our Purim Characters
Mordechai- One of the leaders of Persian Jewry. He was from the tribe of Binyamin. He was Esther’s uncle and was one of the main behind the scenes orchestrator of the Jews’ salvation.
Esther- Mordechai’s niece and the Queen of Persia. She risked her life to beseech Achashverosh to save the Jews and informed him of Haman’s evil plot to kill her people.
Achashverosh- King of Persia. He appointed Haman to be his viceroy. He was easily swayed by those around him, first for evil by Haman and later for good by Queen Esther. He later appointed Mordechai as his new viceroy.
Haman- Viceroy to King Achashverosh. He demanded that Jews bow down to him. When Mordechai instead followed the Torah and did not bow down to him, Haman plotted to destroy all of the Jews, eventually leading to his downfall.
Vashti- Late wife of King Achashverosh. She was the great grand-daughter of Nebuchadnezzar and a torturer of the Jewish people. She disobeyed King Achashverosh’s decree, leading Achashverosh to seek out a new queen.
When Do We Celebrate Purim?
Common Custom: Jews all over the world celebrate Purim on Adar 14, the day when our ancestors rested from the war against their enemies.
Walled Cities: As the Jews of Shushan rested one day later, their Purim was postponed to the 15th of Adar. This was extended to include any city that was surrounded by walls in the days of Yehoshua (Jerusalem).