Jewish Community Rings in Purim Festival

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The Jewish community across Mexico and around the world observed the start of the Purim festival on the eve of Wednesday, March 16.

In the Hebrew calendar, Purim is an annual holiday, falling on the 14th day of the month of Adar (the 12th month in the calendar).

Purim, often referred to as “Jewish Halloween” because many people dress up in costumes to celebrate the event, is a religious festival commemorating the time when Jewish people were saved from Haman, an official of the Persian King Ahasuerus.

Traditionally, the holiday is a joyous family affair, with feasting and drink, and, of course, the telling of the story of the Book of Esther, one of the five scrolls in the Torah, which chronicles how Queen Esther helped save the Jews from persecution.

King Ahasuerus of the Persian Empire replaced his wife with Esther and appointed Haman as his viceroy.

But when Mordecai, Esther’s cousin and adopted father, refused to bow down to him, Haman plotted to kill the Jewish minority in the empire, and cast lots on the date to do this, 14 Adar, which is how Purim, which means lots, got its name.

When Mordecai found out about Haman’s plans and refused to bow down to him again, Haman built a gallows to hang him.

Mordecai told Esther of Haman’s plans, so Esther approached the king, which was illegal to do.

She revealed to Ahasuerus  Haman’s plans to exterminate the Jewish community and the fact that she herself was Jewish.

The king ordered Haman to be sent to the gallows he built for Mordecai and allowed all Jewish people to defend themselves against their would-be attackers.

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