Purim


Purim
/poor"im/; Seph. Heb. /pooh rddeem"/; Ashk. Heb. /poordd"im/, n.
a Jewish festival celebrated on the 14th day of the month of Adar in commemoration of the deliverance of the Jews in Persia from destruction by Haman.
[ < Heb purim, pl. of pur lot]

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Jewish festival celebrating the survival of the Jews marked for death in Persia in the 5th cent BC.

According to the Book of Esther, Haman, chief minister of King Ahasuerus, planned a general massacre of the Jews and set the date by casting lots. Ahasuerus' wife Esther interceded for the Jews, and they were allowed to attack their enemies. The ritual observance begins with a day of fasting on the 13th of Adar (in February or March), the day before the actual holiday. The Book of Esther is read in the synagogue, and Jews are enjoined to exchange gifts and make donations to the poor. Purim is a day of merrymaking and feasting.

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(Hebrew:“Lots”), English  Feast of Lots,  

      a joyous Jewish festival commemorating the survival of the Jews who, in the 5th century BC, were marked for death by their Persian rulers. The story is related in the Old Testament Book of Esther.

      Haman, chief minister of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), incensed that Mordecai, a Jew, held him in disdain and refused obeisance, convinced the King that the Jews living under Persian rule were rebellious and should be slaughtered. With the King's consent, Haman set a date for the execution (the 13th day of the month of Adar) by casting lots and built a gallows for Mordecai.

      When word of the planned massacre reached Esther, beloved Jewish queen of Ahasuerus and adopted daughter of Mordecai, she risked her life by going uninvited to the King to suggest a banquet that Haman would attend. At the meal she pleaded for the Jews and accused “this wicked Haman” of plotting the annihilation of her people. Upset, the King stepped out into the palace gardens. On returning, he found Haman “falling on the couch where Esther was.” The King mistook Haman's frantic pleas for mercy as an attack upon the queen. The outraged King ordered that Haman be hanged and that Mordecai be named to his position. Esther and Mordecai then obtained a royal edict allowing Jews throughout the empire to attack their enemies on Adar 13. After an exhilarating victory they declared the following day a holiday and (alluding to the lots Haman had cast) named it Purim.

      The historical reality of this biblical episode has often been questioned, and the actual origins of the Purim festival, which was already long established by the 2nd century AD, remain unknown. The ritual observance of Purim begins with a day of fasting, Taʿanit Esther (Fast of Esther) on Adar 13, the day preceding the actual holiday. The most distinctive aspect of the synagogue service is the reading of the Book of Esther. On Purim Jews are also enjoined to exchange gifts and make donations to the poor. Through the years many nonreligious customs have come to be associated with the festival, among them the baking of the three-cornered pastries called hamantaschen (“Haman's ears”). Purim plays, which became popular during the 17th century, contribute to the carnival atmosphere especially enjoyed by children.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • PURIM — (Heb. פּוּרִים), the feast instituted, according to the Book of esther (9:20–28), by mordecai to celebrate the deliverance of the Jews from haman s plot to kill them. Purim (Akk. pūrū, lots ) is so called (Esth. 9:26) after the lots cast by Haman …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Purim — • Jewish feast that commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from Haman Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Purim     Purim     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • purim — PÚRIM s.n. Sărbătoare religioasă mozaică celebrată la începutul primăverii. – Din ebr. purim. Trimis de oprocopiuc, 27.04.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  Púrim s. pr. n. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  PURÍM s. n. sărbătoare… …   Dicționar Român

  • PURIM — P 樓RIM Fête juive qui, célébrée le 14 du mois d’adar, marque la délivrance des Juifs de l’Empire perse au temps d’Assuérus, telle qu’elle se trouve rapportée dans le Livre d’Esther. La fête tire son nom de ce qu’on a jeté le sort (P r ) devant… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Purim — late 14c., Jewish festival on the 14th of Adar (in commemoration of the defeat of Haman s plot), from Heb. purim, lit. lots (pl. of pur), identified with haggoral the lot (Esther iii.7, ix.24), perhaps from Akkad. puru stone …   Etymology dictionary

  • Purim — Pùrim m DEFINICIJA jud. židovski blagdan 14. adara (veljača/ožujak) u spomen na spašavanje i oslobođenje Židova za vladavine perzijskog cara Ahasvera (Kserksa); događaj opisan u biblijskoj knjizi Estera, zasnovanoj na legendi; blagdan se slavi u… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Purim — [poor′im, po͞o rēm′] n. [Heb purim, pl., lit., lots < ? Akkadian pur, stone] a Jewish holiday, the Feast of Lots, celebrated on the 14th day of Adar, commemorating the deliverance of the Jews by Esther from a general massacre plotted by Haman …   English World dictionary

  • Purim — Pu rim, n. [Heb. p[=u]r, pl. p[=u]r[imac]m, a lot.] A Jewish festival, called also the Feast of Lots, instituted to commemorate the deliverance of the Jews from the machinations of Haman. Esther ix. 26. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Purim — Purim, ein erst später eingeführtes jüdisches Fest, zur Erinnerung an die, durch Esther u. Mardachai (daher auch Mardachaische Tage), bewirkte Errettung der Juden von den Verfolgungen Hamans (daher auch Hamansfest), am 14. u. 15. des Adar, im… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Purim — Purim, das jüdische Losfest, s. Feste, S. 463 …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Purim — Purim, Fest der Juden im Februar, zum Andenken an ihre Rettung durch Esther und Mardochai; s. Esther …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon


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