Jewish holiday celebrated


Gabriella Vulakh

Sophomores Avani Mankani and Brooke Wilson eat hamentashens in the center during lunch to celebrate the Jewish holiday Purim. Hamentashens are traditional triangle shaped cookies eaten primarily during Purim.

Gabriella Vulakh, Senior Reporter

WEB EXCLUSIVE While Jewish communities around the world celebrated the holiday Purim today with festivals, costume contests and traditional triangle shaped hamentashen cookies, students ate the treats in the Center during lunch to bring awareness to the holiday.

“It was nice being able to learn about another religion, especially through the unique lens of food,” freshman Grace O’Reilly said. “I’m really curious and I love learning and experiencing traditions different from my own.”

Purim, meaning “lots” in ancient Persian, is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Hadar and commemorates the story of anti-semite Haman’s plan to execute the Jewish people and Queen Esther. Before the queen comes forward about her Jewish identity she fasts and prays for three days.

“I fasted yesterday in honor of Queen Esther,” sophomore Arlena Jackson said. “Purim is one of my favorite holidays because it celebrates the power of a young woman over men trying to kill, control and manipulate her and the rest of her culture.”

Traditional observances during the holiday include reading the Megillah (The Book of Esther), giving gifts of money and food, and participating in Purim festivals with hamentashens and costumes. Hamentashens are a signature food of the holiday resembling the triangle hat Haman wore in the biblical story.

“To celebrate Purim I will be making hamentashens and will be attending a temple celebration this weekend,” Jackson said. “In a Catholic school, it can be a little lonely celebrating Purim when it is traditionally a very lively holiday.”

Like Jackson, sophomore Estie Seligman will be attending a temple festival over the weekend, dress in costume, and hear the reading of the Megillah.

“I am going to temple on Saturday to help set up the Purim festival and work in the face painting station,” Seligman said. “I like being able to celebrate Purim at Temple because I feel that at school so many people don’t really know about the holiday.”