Purim is the Jewish holiday celebrated in Adar to celebrate the triumph of the Jews over their oppressors, as told in the book of Esther. The holiday is named after the word "pur," meaning "lot" or "lottery," which refers to the lot that the Jews' enemy Haman threw to determine the day of their destruction. The strong association of Purim with luck or chance underscores the absurdity of this day; we reflect on how much life and death fall to simple chance and how little control we often have over our own lives. As such, everything is turned "upside down" on Purim.
Despite this topsy-turvy nature surrounding the holiday, Purim is still a serious holiday with important themes that draw our attention to social issues. As we celebrate our freedom to be Jewish and the joy that this identity brings us, we also acknowledge that our relationship with God always commands us to seek and pursue justice.This social action guide will give individuals, households, congregations, and religious schools resources for incorporating the themes of women's rights, global human rights, and economic justice into their celebration of Purim. Read More
We are grateful to Rabbi Sue Ann Wasserman and Rabbi Kim Geringer of the Union for Reform Judaism’s Department of Worship, Music, and Religious Living for all of their help and support. As always, we value the work of Alexis Rice and Sean Thibault, the RAC’s Communications Team.
Benj Fried, 2013 Rabbinic Intern Hebrew Union College
Sarah Wolf, 2005 Rabbinic Intern Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism
Rabbi Marla J. Feldman, Director Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism