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February 19, 2013 > Purim celebrates deliverance

Purim celebrates deliverance

The festive Jewish holiday of Purim commemorates the deliverance of the Jewish people and is a time of abundant joy, feasting, and thankfulness. Observed on the 14th day of the month of Adar on the Jewish calendar, which this year falls on February 24, Purim reflects on the story of Queen Esther, who saved her people from destruction.

The book of Esther, also known as the Megillah, tells the story tells of a beautiful young girl who was taken from the king's harem to be made queen, although he was unaware of her Jewish heritage. Haman, the king's advisor, was an arrogant and wicked man, who hated Esther's cousin Mordechai because he would not bow down to him.

Haman told the king that Mordechai's people (the Jews) didn't follow the king's laws, and insisted that they should be punished. The king permitted Haman to deal with the situation and Haman planned the annihilation of the Jewish people. When Mordechai discovered the plot, he urged Esther to reveal her heritage, a dangerous and possibly fatal move. Bravely Esther faced the king, revealing her heritage and Haman's evil plan. The king was enraged and Haman was hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordechai.

Temple Beth Torah in Fremont holds it Purim Service on Saturday, February 23, followed by a carnival the next day. The service will present a parody of the Megillah story, complete with funny voices, costumes, groggers (noisemakers), and a lot of audience participation. Homemade Hamentaschen, the traditional triangular filled pastry said to represent the ears of Haman or the shape of his hat, will be served afterwards.

The carnival will feature a bounce house, photo booth complete with costumes, games and prizes. And for the first time the East Bay Bicycle Coalition will put on a Bike Rodeo, teaching riders bike safety and riding skills on an obstacle course set up in the parking lot. (Some bikes will be available or you can bring your own.) Hot dogs, popcorn, and Hamentaschen will be available for purchase, and wine tasting will also be an option for adults. Costumes of all kinds are encouraged at both the service and the carnival.

Purim is a fun and joyous holiday, with the family-friendly events open to all. Temple Beth Torah invites you to don your best costume and come have a rollicking good time.

Congregation Shir Ami in Castro Valley will hold their Purim Shabbat Service on February 22 at 7 p.m. and Purim Carnival on February 24. Temple Beth Shalom in San Leandro hosts their Purim Megillah and Hamentaschen Bake-Off February 23 at 7 p.m. and carnival the following Sunday from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Purim Shabbat Service
Friday, Feb 22
7 p.m.
Purim Carnival
Sunday, Feb 24
Congregation Shir Ami
4529 Malabar Ave., Castro Valley
(510) 537-1787

Purim Service
Saturday, Feb 23
7 p.m.
Purim Carnival
Sunday, Feb 24
11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Temple Beth Torah
42000 Paseo Padre Parkway, Fremont
(510) 656-7141

Purim Megillah and Hamantaschen Bake-Off
Saturday, February 23
7 p.m.
Purim Carnival
Sunday, Feb 24
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Temple Beth Sholom
642 Dolores Ave., San Leandro
(510) 357-8505

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