Purim

Purim

For translation of this page in Portuguese, click herehttp://asknoah.org/essay/a-festa-de-purim

The date of Purim is the 14th of Adar (in 20’17, this is the evening of March 11 to the evening of March 12). A Noahide who wishes may read the Book of Esther on Purim,* and there are also numerous universal messages from Purim that a Noahide can take to heart and implement on that day and in general in his or her daily life:

1) Recognize that G-d is intimately in control of all events in the world, both the great events and the seemingly “small” events, even if His guiding influence seems to be hidden for a period of time, as it was during the events that led up to the Purim miracle. This is called individual Divine Providence. If the wicked seem to prevail for a period of time, it is only so that they will be overturned – either their wickedness will be overturned and they will repent, or they themselves will be overturned.

2) Every individual has a responsibility to do what is right in G-d’s eyes and to answer the call of the hour in support of the guiding principles of G-d’s Torah. You should not sit by idly and expect that someone else will do your mission for you. But what is needed has to be explained by the Jewish spiritual leader of the generation, who is like Moses in his time, or Mordechai in his time, because G-d gives this person the inspired insight to know what is needed at a particular time. For example, at the time of Hanukkah, Matisyahu revealed that the call of the hour was to rise up and fight against the oppressive Greeks. When a brave group of Jews did this, they were answered with Divine miracles. In contrast, at the time of Purim, Mordechai revealed that the call of the hour was for the Jews to return to Torah study and observance of their commandments, with repentance and prayer. When all the Jews did this for the full year that they were under the threat of Haman’s evil decree, they were answered with G-d’s saving miracles.

3) Be happy, and make others happy! During the Hebrew month of Adar in which Purim falls, it is the time for increasing in happiness, just for it’s own sake, which comes from happiness in your faith in G-d. Happiness has the power to break through spiritual barriers, and turn what seems negative into a situation which is happily positive in an open way.

4) Give proper charity for the physical needs of poor people. (This is one of the traditional observances that Jews are obligated to do during the daytime on Purim.)

5) The only Jewish festival that specifically involves gift-giving as one of its traditional observances is Purim. Jews are obligated by Torah Law to give at least one gift of at least two different types of kosher and ready-to-eat food (or food and beverage), to at least one Jewish friend during the daytime on that day. It is traditional for males to give this to males, and females to give to females. A Gentile may participate in this Purim activity, but not as a matter of a religious observance.

6) King David wrote Psalm 22 as a prophecy of Queen Esther’s prayer, when she risked her life by going uninvited to the king on the third day of her fast, to invite him to join her in a private feast along with the wicked Haman.

*If a Gentile listens to or reads the Book of Esther on Purim, he or she should not say the associated Jewish liturgical blessing for doing that a commandment on that day, because it would be a false statement (since Noahides are not commanded to observe that).

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