Like all great stories, the Purim tale features villains and heroes, threats of extermination and extreme bravery.
Purim definitely falls into the tongue-in-cheek definition of Jewish holidays: they tried to kill us, they failed, let’s eat.
In addition to reading the scroll of Esther in synagogue, we celebrate by wearing costumes, making delicious treats to share with friends and neighbors, giving charity, and over-imbibing (for those who observe that custom).
If you’re brainstorming recipes and costumes now, check out our Purim – Masks, Noisemakers Pinterest page for lots of ideas.
Next week: more Purim celebration ideas for your family.
[spoiler alert: some of these questions have more than 1 correct answer!]
1. What does the word “Purim” mean?
2. Who is the good gal in the Purim story?
3. Who is the bad guy?
4. What’s the name of the custom to take treats to friends?
a. Mishloach manot
b. Shalach manot
5. On Purim, there’s a tradition to get so drunk that you can’t distinguish between the names of two key players in the story. Which two?
a. Haman and Mordecai
b. Cain and Abel
c. Joseph and Jacob
6. The triangle-shaped sweets we eat on Purim are called:
c. Ozen (oznai) Haman
7. What other foods do we traditionally eat on Purim?
8. In what month is Purim celebrated?
9. What do we call the noisemaker used in synagogue whenever Haman’s name is mentioned?
10. Which of the main characters’ names are hardest to pronounce?
- (b) Refers to how Haman determined which day the Jews were to be killed – he drew lots.
- (b) (c) Queen Esther saved the Jewish people from extermination. Her Hebrew name was Hadassah. (Vashti was queen before Esther. Shushan is the name of the city where King Ahasuerus’s palace was.)
- (a) Haman, grand vizier to King Ahasuerus, was offended when Mordechai refused to bow down to him, so he urged the King to annihilate all the Jews. (Mordechai was Esther’s cousin. Maimonides was a 12th century sage and rabbi.)
- (a)(b) Both are correct and refer to sending presents (or portions) of food and drink. (Megillah is the Hebrew word for scroll and refers to the scroll of Esther.)
- (a) Haman, the villain, and Mordechai, the good guy (Cain and Abel were both sons of Adam and Eve; Joseph was Jacob’s son)
- (b) (c) Both are correct; ozen Haman is Hebrew for Haman’s ears (Schmaltz is rendered chicken fat)
- (c) Because, like hamentaschen, they are triangle-shaped. You can find lots of other explanations, too.
- (b) Adar
- (a) Graggar (Yad is the silver pointer used in synagogue to read Torah; shtreimel is a hat worn by Hasidic men)
- (b) That’s not a real question. But if you do follow the liquor-drinking mitzvah, try to say Ahasuerus three times fast!