Eat, Drink, and be Merry

When the Jews celebrate Purim, they are told they must eat, drink, and be merry. In fact, they are required to drink so much that they can no longer tell the difference between the phrases “blessed be Mordecai” and “cursed be Haman,” though no one truly knows exactly how drunk you have to be for that to happen. Of course, it is known that no one should become so drunk that they may get seriously ill or violate other commandments. Some people are exempt from this obligation, such as alcoholics or other people that may be harmed from consuming alcohol.

Jews are also commanded to send out gifts of drink and food and to do it as a charity. This is a way for them to send out portions, which is called shalach manos. Hamentaschen are a common treat during the celebrations among some Jews. These are cookies that have fruit inside that represents the three-cornered hat of Haman.

On Purim, it is custom to hold beauty contests, perform plays and parodies, and hold carnival-like celebrations. During this holiday, the typical prohibitions are listed on cross-dressing in some areas. Many Americans seem to see Purim as a Mardi Gras of the Jews.

When it comes to Purim, the Jews do not have the same restrictions they usually have on the Sabbath. Where other holidays restrict the Jews from working, this holiday does not. Most sources say that people should not go about their ordinary business on Purim if, for nothing else, for showing respect on this holiday.

 

Purim remains one of the most highly anticipated holidays in the Jewish culture. Is the time for the Jews to set regulations aside and simply be themselves. It is a time to give gifts to others, dress up, and have a great party. Who wouldn’t like that?