The Purim Story

This year, Purim begins at sunset on Wednesday, March 4, and ends on Thursday evening, March 5. Twice during the holiday, the Book of Esther is read. It is the only one of 24 books of the Hebrew Bible that does not contain the name of God. This has been traditionally explained as connected to the idea of “hester panim,” the hidden face of God.

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Purim 101

Purim 101

Brush up on the basics of this holiday of reversals.

At Home

A special festive meal, called Seudat Purim, is eaten on Purim afternoon.

In the Community

Feasting and gladness, gift-giving and charity, revelry and imbibing.

Purim Story

The plot and themes of "the whole Megillah."

Themes & Theology

At its core, Purim grapples with deep and even troubling themes.


Purim Treats

Purim Treats

The most well-known pastry is associated with the villain of the story.


A recipe for triangular Purim cookies.


A recipe for a vegetarian hors d'oeuvre or side dish.

The Purim Meal

Eat, drink, and be merry is not without controversy.

Drinking on Purim

A lighthearted look at the source of the obligation to get drunk on the holiday.

Traditions & Rituals

Mishloach Manot

Mishloach Manot

It is customary to send packages of food to friends on Purim.

Fast of Esther

The fast that precedes the holiday of Purim.

Megillah Reading

Listeners are invited to participate.

Plays and Carnivals

Creative ways that fulfill the religious obligation to have fun.


Instructions for constructing a Purim noisemaker.




Although it provides the blueprint for the festival of Purim, the origins of the Book of Esther remain obscure.

Book of Esther

There are many unique aspects to this biblical book.

Origins of Purim

A variety of theories about how the holiday developed.

Shushan Purim

In this case, where means when.

Remembering Amalek

A serious lesson about fighting evil.

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