Enduring Understandings:

You will understand that...

  • Jews build community through holiday observance and ritual celebrations.

  • Jewish life is best lived in community.

  • The Jewish holidays teach us to appreciate the many cycles of renewal and rebirth.

Essential Questions:

What do you think?

  • What are some of the important lessons from these Jewish holidays?

  • How does the idea that Jews everywhere celebrate these same holidays connect me to the Jewish community?

I can show proper use of the Purim symbols and ritual items

There's really no right way to shake your grogger, send פּוּרִים gifts or dress up in costume. There are some things to know about the reading of the מְגִלָּה.

Create a giant size version of one of the holiday symbols out of creative materials and write the big idea it presents inside the symbol.

I can draw connections between the Purim narrative/big ideas and the ritual practices of the holiday

You know the story of פּוּרִים and you know the rituals that we do to celebrate פּוּרִים. Now it's time to make some connections.

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I can connect the holiday narrative with the season/timing of Purim

פּוּרִים is celebrated in the Hebrew month of אֲדָר. According to the story, Haman put a bunch of dates in a hat and picked out the 13th day of אֲדָר to be the day on which he would kill all the Jews. But, as we all know, things didn't work out as he planned. We celebrate פּוּרִים on the day after Haman's chosen date. So, פּוּרִים is celebrated on the 14th day of אֲדָר. 

Every few years, in order to keep the holidays of פֶּסַח and סֻכּוֹת in the right seasons we add a whole month to the Jewish calendar. The extra month we add is another אֲדָר. When this happens, we celebrate פּוּרִים in the second month of אֲדָר.

After defeating Haman, the Jews needed to take a break so they postponed פּוּרִים until the following day - the 15th of the month of אֲדָר. Since Shushan was a city surrounded by a large wall - the decision was made that any city surrounded by a wall should celebrate פּוּרִים on the 15th. That's why, even today, פּוּרִים is celebrated a day later in Jerusalem than it is anywhere else - because Jerusalem is a city surrounded by a wall.

Create a diorama for Purim using natural materials that celebrate its season.

I can use appropriate Purim vocabulary in proper context and show my understanding of their meanings

You've learned a whole bunch of Hebrew words for פּוּרִים. You know the names of פּוּרִים in Hebrew, the names of the symbols and the פּוּרִים greetings. When you speak about פּוּרִים with your family and friends, can you use all of these Hebrew words? Here are some of the Hebrew words you know related to פּוּרִים:

Holiday Names

פּוּרִים - Purim

Holiday Greetings

חַג שָׂמֵחַ - Happy Holiday
פּוּרִים שָׂמֵחַ - Happy Festival of Purim

Holiday Symbols

רַעֲשַׁן - Grogger
מְגִלָּה - Scroll of Esther
מִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת - Purim Gifts 

אָזְנֵי הָמָן - Hamantaschen
מַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיוֹנִים - Gifts for the Needy

Create a video showing how Purim is celebrated using the Hebrew vocabulary words above.

I can read the b’rachot associated with the Purim symbols and ritual items along with selected t'fillot and can show my understanding of the keywords of those b'rachot and t'fillot

Here's the עַל הַנִּסִּים that you learned to sing when you were in Nitzanim. Now your challenge is to try and read it.

עַל הַנִּסִּים וְעַל הַפֻּרְקָן וְעַל הַגְּבוּרות וְעַל הַתְּשׁוּעות וְעַל הַמִּלְחָמות שֶׁעָשיתָ לַאֲבותֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה:

Take a closer look at the second word:

Every Hebrew word has a root - 2 or 3 letters that are most important. Knowing the root of a word can help you figure out what it means. Let's find the root of the word הַנִּסִּים. Here are two hints:

  1. The letter "ה" at the beginning means "the" and isn't part of the root.

  2. The letters "ים" at the end makes the word plural so they aren't a part of the root either.

If you take off the "ה" and the "ים" what's left? Does this root word remind you of another Hebrew word you know?

(hint: Think about the סְבִיבוֹן from חֲנֻכָּה. What are the four letters? Are any of the four letters on the סְבִיבוֹן the same as the first letter of this root word? What does that letter on the סְבִיבוֹן and the word it represents mean?)

I can categorize holiday rituals as mitzvah or minhag

Since you already know what a מִצְוָה and a מִנְהָג are, now we can think about some of the פּוּרִים rituals and decide if they are a מִצְוָה or a מִנְהָג.  Here's a hint for deciding what's a מִצְוָה: Most mitzvot have a blessing that includes the words, "אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ", which means, "You make us holy through your commandments and command us to..."






I can draw conclusions about the values associated with Purim based on the Purim story and ritual practices

Think about the story of פּוּרִים and the פּוּרִים rituals that you've learned about. What values do they teach us? For example: Maybe dressing up on פּוּרִים teaches us the value of Humor. What conclusions can you draw about the values that might be associated with פּוּרִים based on the story and rituals?

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© 2019 by Rabbi David Paskin

JPaL is a program of Temple Sinai of North Dade
Call Us: 305-932-9012   /   rabbi.david@tsnd.org   /  18801 NE 22nd Ave, Miami, FL 33180