Thursday, March 24, 2016

Celebrating Purim in my LDS Seminary Classroom

Here is a handout that you can give your students:

Journal sized handout:

Purim How-To Guide

Videos to show the students:

The Maccabeats - Purim Song

The Fountainheads


Raise Your Mask Purim

I made some easy Hamantashen cookies with pie crust and milk chocolate chips.  Here's how:

I bought some ready made pie crust  and rolled it out.

Then using a small mason jar I cut out as many circles as I could.  It made about 17 circles per pie crust.
I placed about 9 chocolate chips in the center of each circle.

I outlined each circle with water using my finger.  Then I folded up one of the sides.

Then I folded up the other two sides.  Make sure that you pinch the corners tightly or it will pull apart when it is baked.

I baked them in a 450 degree oven until brown (about 7 minutes).

They really were yummy and fun to eat!

Funfetti Cheesecake Hamantaschen

Here is a link to 36 mouthwatering Hamantashen that you can make from Buzz Feed:

Here is an explanation of Purim from the LDS Old Testament Manuel:

Esther: Queen of Persia and Advocate for Her People (Esther)

LDS Old Testament Student Manual Kings-Malachi, (1982), 329–32

 Esther 9:17–32. The Festival of Purim

The pur (plural purim), or lots, Haman used (see Esther 3:7) to determine the day of destruction for the Jews were now viewed by the Jews as a great blessing. The fact that the lot had fallen on a day some distance into the future allowed Esther and Mordecai time to save the people. In celebration of this great deliverance, the Jews initiated a new festival which is still observed among them to this day. It is called Purim for the lots cast by Haman and is a festival of great joy. A modern Jewish writer described its celebration:
Purim is the nearest thing Judaism has to a carnival. It is another full-moon celebration, falling on the fourteenth of Adar, usually in February or March. The origin of the holy day is in the Book of Esther. The occasion is, of course, the famous deliverance of the Persian Jews from their Hitler-like oppressor, Haman. …
“The day before Purim is the Fast of Esther, a sunrise-to-sundown abstention. At sundown the synagogues fill up. The marked difference between this and all other occasions of the Jewish year is the number of children on hand. Purim is Children’s Night in the house of the Lord. It always has been, and the children sense their rights and exercise them. They carry flags and noisemakers, the traditional whirling rattles called ‘groggers,’ which can make a staggering racket. After the evening prayers the reading of the Book of Esther begins, solemnly enough, with the customary blessing over a scroll and the chanting of the opening verses in a special musical mode heard only on this holiday. The children are poised, waiting. The Reader chants through the first and second chapters and comes at last to the long-awaited sentence, ‘After these things, the king raised to power Haman the Agagite’—but nobody hears the last two words. The name ‘Haman’ triggers off stamping, pounding, and a hurricane of groggers. The Reader waits patiently. The din dies. He chants on, and soon strikes another ‘Haman.’ Bedlam breaks loose again. This continues, and since Haman is now a chief figure in the story, the noisy outbursts come pretty frequently.  The children, far from getting tired or bored, warm to the work. They do it with sure mob instinct: poised silence during the reading, explosions on each ‘Haman.’ Passages occur where Haman’s name crops up several times in a very short space. The children’s assaults come like pistol shots. The Reader’s patience wears thin and finally breaks. It is impossible to read with so many interruptions. He gestures angrily at the children through the grogger storm and shoots a glance of appeal to the rabbi. This, of course, is what the children have been waiting for. The stag is down. Thereafter to the end it is a merciless battle between the Reader and the children. He tries to slur over the thick-falling ‘Hamans,’ they trip him every time with raucous salvos. He stumbles on to the final verse, exhausted, beaten, furious, and all is disordered hilarity in the synagogue. It is perhaps not quite fair to make the Reader stand in for Haman on this evening, but that is approximately what happens. …
“Beyond this gaiety, it carries four religious obligations: to hear the Megillah (the Scroll of Esther) read, to distribute largesse to the poor, to make a feast, and to exchange presents with neighbors and friends. This last institution is Shalakh Manos, the Sending of Gifts: things that can be eaten and drunk the same day.” (Herman Wouk, This Is My God, pp. 98–100.)

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