Temple Bat Yam to observe Purim on Saturday
After an absence of several years, Temple Bat Yam is holding a Purim carnival and party Saturday night, March 18, for family members of all ages to celebrate the Jewish holiday that commemorates the victory of good over evil.
With an unusual Hawaiian-flavored theme,”Purim in Paradise,” the carnival, party and luau at the temple is open to residents of all three communities served by the temple and community center – Lake Tahoe’s South Shore, Carson City and the Carson Valley.
Costumes are encouraged for both children and adults to add to the fun of the 7 p.m. carnival, sponsored by Youth of Bat Yam, the temple youth group. The event will feature 10 carnival booths and games, including a cake walk. Tickets for each game will cost 25 cents, or 25 tickets for $5. Families may sponsor a booth for just $18 and, if they desire, can help run the booth they sponsor so that youth group members will have more time to take part in the carnival themselves.
Concurrent with the carnival will be a costume parade, potluck dairy appetizer, finger foods, snacks and dessert party and the reading of the Megillah.
The story of Queen Esther, the Megillah relates the story of Purim, which celebrates the downfall of an anti-Semite named Haman, a descendent of Amalek, the traditional enemy of the Jews. Haman, the prime minister of ancient Persia, sought to murder all the Jews of that land, but was thwarted by Queen Esther and her cousin, Mordechai, who conceived the plan and led the Jewish resistance that defeated Haman’s plan to kill all the Jews in Persia.
As the story of Purim is read, it is traditional that children cheer whenever the names of Esther or Mordechai are mentioned and use noisemakers to drown out the name and evil plan of Haman. Decorum takes a back seat during the celebration of this holiday, which takes on a festive rather than a religious air -especially for children (much like Halloween).
Because they celebrate good over evil, Purim celebrations include a special element of Tzedakah (charity) so that modern-day celebrants can relate the good-over-evil theme to today’s society. Temple Bat Yam will not ignore the charitable element of the holiday during the Saturday night carnival and party. Children especially are encouraged to give to charity as a means of learning to help others, as Mordechai and Queen Esther did to save their people.
No reservations are necessary to attend “Purim in Paradise,” but guests are encouraged to provide either a dairy or vegetarian-based appetizer or dessert. (No meat dishes, please.)