One of the key rituals associated with the holiday of Purim is the reading of Megillat Esther, the Scroll of Esther. This biblical book relates the story on which Purim is based, in which the wicked Haman sought to use his influence with King Ahasuerus to destroy the Jewish people, who are ultimately saved by the story’s heroes: Mordechai and Esther.
Hearing the megillah read on Purim is considered a mitzvah in traditional Jewish law, and the public reading is the centerpiece of the synagogue service. A common custom during the reading is to use noisemakers (known as graggers) to drown out the sound of Haman’s name.
Megillah reading is among the most high-spirited Jewish rituals of the year and it’s possible participate even if you aren’t able to make it to synagogue. Increasing numbers of synagogues and other Jewish institutions now livestream their services. Here’s a list:
- Adas Israel, Washington, D.C.
- B’nai Jeshurun, Cleveland, Ohio
- Park Avenue Synagogue, New York, New York
- Beth Yeshurun, Houston, Texas
- Temple Aliyah, Woodland Hills, California
- Ohr Kodesh, Maryland
Don’t see your synagogue listed but it’s livestreaming the megillah reading? Let us know.