Feast Of Purim

Written by Patricia Skinner
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In order to understand why Jews everywhere prefer to give gifts of food to celebrate the feast of Purim, it is necessary to first know the story of Purim. After fasting on the Day of Esther, everyone is ready to begin the feast of Purim that follows it. You can read the entire story of the Feast of Purim in the Megilla, which is the Scroll of Esther.

The crux of the matter was that the evil scheming of Haman, chief advisor to King Achashverosh of Persia, almost resulted in the annihilation of the Jews. The timely intervention of Mordechai and his niece Esther, who was the wife of the King, however, resulted in the execution of Haman instead, and the Jewish people were saved.

Esther's Intervention

Mordechai, when he learned of Haman's terrible plot, went to Esther to tell her she must intervene with the King. Esther was very afraid, because no one had ever dared appear before the King without being invited to do so. To prepare herself she fasted for three days, and asked her uncle Mordechai to let the Jewish people fast also on these days, and to supplicate to God to help them.

The King looked favorably on Esther's intervention and everything turned out happily. To commemorate God's mercy on their people, the Jews now celebrate Purim by sending gifts of food to everyone. The custom is so widespread that Purim baskets can be obtained from all good kosher food stores.

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