Welcome to the Month of Purim

For the uninitiated, Purim is a one-day holiday where we celebrate the miraculous victory of the Jews of Persia who were slated to be murdered. Queen Esther is the heroine and, with the help of her Uncle Mordechai, convinces her husband, King Achashverosh that his minister, Haman, is truly evil and out to steal the crown for himself. The edict against the Jews is cancelled and merriment ensues. For two-thirds of the worldwide Jewish community, Purim is a simple affair with a few costumes sported during the reading of the Megilla (holy scroll describing the events of the Purim story) , maybe a carnival and, of course, the exchanging of mishloach manot (bags of treats traditionally exchanged with friends and neighbors).

But, this is Israel and here, Purim antics last for weeks. Oznei Haman (Hamantaschen), the traditional Purim pastry, has lined bakery shelves for weeks. Streets are filled with butterflies and devils, and supermarket shelves are lined with mishloach manot packages in every shape and size! The whole country celebrates. CEOs and doctors come to work with big hats and and silly masks, and even bus drivers wear colorful wigs to celebrate.

Israel with love has included a few pictures to help you enjoy the holiday atmosphere. Shabbat shalom (A peaceful Sabbath)

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