Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Jewish Festival of Purim - Today We're Fasting, But Tonite, Saturday & Sunday We Feast


Traditional Hamantaschen Cookies, Freshly Baked by My Kids
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

Just about everyone knows that it's St. Patricks Day.  But today is also another special observance, one that is much less well-known.  Based on the Hebrew calendar, it's a fast day known as the Fast of Esther which precedes the joyous festival of Purim.

The Fast of Esther originates with the Biblical Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai who successfully fasted and prayed to G-d to save the people from Haman's evil degree to kill the Jews.  On this fast day, according to Jewish custom, we refrain from eating and drinking beginning at sunrise.  This includes all adults plus girls beginning at Bat Mitzvah (12 years old) and boys who have reached Bar Mitzvah (age 13).

Even though we're not eating today, it doesn't mean I'm not thinking of food right now.  In fact, I can't wait to eat one of those Chocolate Chip Hamantashen Cookies that the kids made after the sun sets tonight, only about 6+ hours from now.  Also, I'm planning on making the Persian Chickpea Herb Noodle Soup recipe I saw this morning in the L.A. Times for my family to break the fast this evening.

Homemade Chocolate Chip Hamantaschen
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

Watch for future posts about all our family Purim preparations to find out more about all the good things we are preparing for our Sunday feast.

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