Saturday, February 16, 2013

Purim - A Celebration Commandment

Purim is in a week and I am busy designing the costumes for our family. I love it. I love the celebration. It is a festival based on the book of Esther and is a festival of remembrance of how God preserves His people. I even love the Hamantashen, not necessarily making them, but eating them is most joyful. Hamantashen are cookies made specifically for Purim and are said to be in the shape of Haman's ears or hat, depending on your preferred tradition. At ours and most synagogues and congregations around the world, there are Purim carnivals and puppet shows, the telling of the Purim story and a huge celebration. Why? We are commanded to in God's Word:
"These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never cease to be celebrated by the Jews, nor should the memory of them die out among their descendants." - Esther 9:28
I love that! We are literally commanded to celebrate, as long as there are descendants of the Jewish people, there should be a Purim celebration. Awesome!
But not only Jewish people can celebrate, Gentiles that are with them can celebrate as well.
" the Jews took it upon themselves to establish the custom that they and their descendants and all who join them should without fail observe these two days every year, in the way prescribed and at the time appointed." - Esther 9:27
Everyone can share in the celebration. Jew and Gentile, celebrating together, celebrating the preservation fo the Jews because salvation is from the Jews, Yeshua our Messiah, and He is worth celebrating!
If you've never celebrated Purim before, read my blog from last year that tells of how to read the story to your children:
I have also included a Hamantashen recipe below, that is my favorite. If you want to see a Purim Celebration up close and personal, visit a congregation near you! If you want to celebrate the provision of the Jewish people, you will be welcome! The congregation in Wichita, Kansas will have a Purim Service on Friday, February 22, 2013 and a Purim Carnival on Saturday, February 23, for families and their children. For more information, visit
For your enjoyment, a song by the Maccabeats about Purim:

Adapted from The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen by Joan Nathan
Makes about 36 cookies: 
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2-3 cups sifted all-purpose unbleached flour

Prepared Apricot Preserves or Strawberry Jam

*Using a wooden spoon, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the egg and continue creaming until smooth. add the milk or water and vanilla. Sift the flour and mix it with the butter mixture until a ball of dough is formed.* (Children can do this, or you may use a food processor.) Divide the dough in 2 cylinders approximately 3 inches in diameter and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using one cylinder at a time (keep the unused cylinder refrigerated until needed), cut 1/8-inch slices of dough. Roll them out and place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of each round. Draw the edges up at 3 points to form a triangle and pinch together carefully. Place the triangles on ungreased baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on rack.