Jewish Purim Holy Day Essay
Jewish Purim Holy Day
The Jewish faith has been around for more than a thousand years. Judaism like many other faiths such as Christian, Muslim, Hindus, and Buddhist has holidays that are part of a tradition that is followed. When an individual makes a choice to believe in one religion and follow it as its way of faith it is important to understand all elements that come along with that religion. This paper will review the holy day known as Purim and the review will explain the history of this day and the practices associated with this holy day. The last section will discuss cultural differences that may affect how this day is observed by different branches of Judaism.
The holy day Purim is celebrated in March this is the twelfth month in the Jewish calendar. The holy day starts at sundown of the first secular date for example 2014 the celebration will start at sundown on March 15th and end at nightfall of the 16th.
The book of Esther explains that like many tails we read about we have a villain and a hero. Haman the adviser to the kind tells the king that there are people who do not follow the laws that the king has created. Haman creates a plan to exterminate all of the Jews. Esther the king’s queen, the king does not know she is Jewish. Esther uncle asked her to goes to the king and ask him to save her people. Esther fasted for three days for fear that she will be killed for visiting the king uninvited. Esther goes to the king and asks him to save her people. The Jewish people are saved. This leads to the celebration of the Purim. This holy day is noted as one of the joyous and fun holidays on the Jewish calendar (Molloy, 2010).
Purim is not outlined in the Torah but has been celebrated by Jews sense the second century CE. Purim has been nicknamed the Jewish Mardi gras (Institute for Curriculum Services, 2012). For the holy day all Jews are required to fulfill the four Purim mitzvoth. The two readings of the Megillah the Scroll of Esther and Mikrah Megillah. There is to be a celebration with a feast during the feast alcohol is consumed, adults drink till they are unable to say distinguish between the phrase “Cursed be Haman” and “blessed be Mordecai” (Religion Facts, 2004 para.14). Next Jews are to give gifts of food to their friends. Last an act of charity to the poor. Purim states that two acts of charity must be given in the amount equal to the balance of one’s inexpensive meal. The act must be given directly to the poor and must be given without merit (Religion Facts, 2004).
Branches of Judaism
The Jewish religion is not unlike many other types of religion where many of the followers have created new branches. The Jewish religion has 4 different branches that appear to be the main views that are followed. Orthodox Judaism Orthodox Judaism is the most traditional branch that is practiced by Jewish followers. There is a large range of differences in the orthodox views. The idea to modernize but to also adhere to the Jewish laws makes this a very difficult branch the idea to embrace new views but do not forget Jewish cultures. Reform Judaism The belief that individuals have a choice over what they believe to be meaningful within the views of Judaism. This giving each person the idea that they have the choice to follow the path that is best suited for them.
Reformed Judaism teaches that ethical laws are binding while ritual laws can be changed to fit into modern day society. Conservative Judaism Currently the middle ground of orthodox and Reform Judaism, the idea that Judaism can keep tradition and also adapt to modern circumstances. There is an importance within Conservative Judaism to study traditional Jewish text to assist in the guide for ethics and practice. Reconstructionist Judaism Reconstructionist Judaism teaches that it is not simply a religion but also an evolving civilization; Within Reconstructionist Judaism the Jewish laws do not have to be followed, but it does state that the community will be strengthened if they are.
Cultural difference in the observation of Purim
Purim is a holy day that celebrates the defeat of those that wanted to exterminate Jews. Not only do religions celebrate that they have overcome many obstacles so do countries, nations, towns, and tribes. Many references to the holiday Purim states that this holy day has been around for over thousands of years and will continue to be celebrated for many more thousands of years (Institute for Curriculum Services, 2012).
As society changes this may change how followers of the Jewish faith may change how they celebrate holy days. This Jewish holy day may not only referee to Esther the queen that saved all the Jews from extermination but also to the time in history were Hitler again tried to exterminate the Jewish race. Judaism has been around for century but so have people and races that have felt threated by them and felt the need to exterminate them. This day of celebrate is a day that the Jewish people can rejoice in the fact that they have overcome many obstacles in life and they will survive.
Holy days or holidays however it is said can mean many things depending on the faith that is may be referring to. To celebrate Santa clause or to celebrate overcoming an obstacle can bring people together. Religion is just that the bringing together of a group of people that want to rejoice in the feeling of something more than just themselves. Judaism is a faith that has had challenges but has overcome many challenges to become stronger with time that is why the tradition of Purim is important to follow.
Institute for Curriculum Services. (2012). Branches of Judaism. Retrieved from http://www.icsresources.org/curricula Molloy, M. (2010). Experiencing the world’s religions Traditions, challenge, and change (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. ReligionFacts. (2004-2013). Purim. Retrieved from http://www.religionfacts.com/judaism/holidays/purim.htm
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 3 June 2017
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