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Holidays We Celebrate: Learn With Us!


Purim is March 16-17, 2022

With celebrations including costumes, skits and songs, noisemakers, and gifts of food, Purim is definitely full of fun! Purim is a joyous holiday that affirms and celebrates Jewish survival and continuity throughout history. The main communal celebration involves a public reading—usually in the synagogue—of the Book of Esther (M'gillat Esther), which tells the story of the holiday: Under the rule of King Ahashverosh, Haman, the king's adviser, plots to exterminate all of the Jews of Persia. His plan is foiled by Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai, who ultimately save the Jews of Persia from destruction. The reading of the m'gillah typically is a rowdy affair, punctuated by booing and noise-making when Haman's name is read aloud.

Purim is an unusual holiday in many respects. First, Esther is the only biblical book in which God is not mentioned. Second, Purim, like Hanukkah, is viewed as a minor festival according to Jewish custom, but has been elevated to a major holiday as a result of the Jewish historical experience. Over the centuries, Haman has come to symbolize every anti-Semite in every land where Jews were oppressed. The significance of Purim lies not so much in how it began, but in what it has become: a thankful and joyous affirmation of Jewish survival.
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Interested in celebrating Purim at home?  Check out these resources:


Tu B'Shevat  

Angel Oak, Johns Island, SC

Tu B’Shevat celebrates the New Year of the Trees and happens this year on January 16-17, 2022.  Tu B’Shevat is one of four new years mentioned in the Mishnah. This holiday encourages us to consider our religious and ethical responsibility to the environment.

Families can observe Tu B’Shevat together by planting trees, or hosting a Tu B’Shevat seder at home. A Tu B’Shevat seder includes tasting lots of foods that are grown on trees in Israel. In that way, the holiday helps us get in touch with nature and connect to the land of Israel.

Tu B’Shevat also has a spiritual element with roots in 16th century Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism). The foods served are traditionally divided into categories including at least five foods with an inedible shell, at least five fruits with an inedible seed, and five fruits that are completely edible. Each reflects a different side of our soul, those elements that are tough, sweet, hard, and/or easy.  

Interested in celebrating Tu B'Shevat?  Check out these resources:

Resources for Hosting Tu B'Shevat Seder with Children:

Wed, February 1 2023 10 Sh'vat 5783