Holiday of Purim – March 10th

Dear families,

Our school is getting ready for the holiday of Purim (March 10th). Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people, in the year 356 BCE, from the leader of the Persian Empire. The heroin of the story is Queen Esther. I find it noteworthy that this holiday almost always falls during Women’s History Month.

Queen Esther is a prime example of a role model for women and men. Although seemingly a person not looking to be a hero, she devises a risky plan that uses her political astuteness to save her people. In doing so, she reveals to the king her true identity as both a Jew and a woman of action, and shows us how even people not initially in leadership roles can marshal their talent, strength, and wit to change the course of history. I feel it is important to not only bring to light famous women in the Torah (and those in other areas) who changed history but also those “hidden figures” who have led lives that can teach us how to be better people.

In school the festival of Purim is celebrated by the children taking part in the four Purim directives (mitzvot).

  1. Reading the story as recorded in the “Scroll of Esther”.
  2. Sharing a gift of food with friends.
  3. Giving money to those in need.
  4. Enjoying a meal.

A time-honored Purim custom is for children to dress up and disguise themselves — an allusion to the fact that the miracle of Purim was disguised in natural methods (unlike Passover or Chanukah which contain outright miracles). This is also the significance behind a traditional Purim food, the hamantash — a pastry whose filling is hidden within a three-cornered crust.

All children (preschool through fifth grade) are welcome to wear costumes. We ask that children NOT have weapons as part of their costumes, not wear very scary masks, or dress up as Haman (the wicked man who planned the destruction of the Jewish people). Costumes do not have to be connected to Purim. 

Best,

Rabbi Meir

P.S. The school is waiting on Richland School District One to release their 2020-2021 calendar and will then create the CJDS calendar for next year. We hope to have this completed during the first half of March. 

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