Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It's Purim Time!!

Have you grown up learning about Purim? If not, you're not alone! I think most Christians haven't. I know that Cool Daddy and I didn't! Likely we all have read about it in the book of Esther... but we never really learned about it. 

It's not one of the Lord's Feasts, but we still see reasons for Christians to celebrate this Biblical holiday which is a Jewish Feast. It's a part of our roots as believers in and followers of Yeshua our Messiah! And this year it falls on the sunset of Saturday March 15th to the sunset on Sunday March 16th. (Why sunset? Because Yahweh created the evening and the morning to be the cycle of one day. How different we tend to live by in most of our cultures!)

Ahasuerus and Haman at the Feast of Esther, Rembrandt, 1660, Dutch

Why, do you realize that if the Jews were annihilated as Haman {BOOOOOOO!} planned, the prophecy of our Lord and Savior Yeshua the Messiah would not have been fulfilled? After all, the prophecy was foretold of Yeshua being born through the tribe of Judah... the Jews. The Prophecy was given by Yahweh to the Prophets. It was His word and He keeps His word.

It was nothing but the Providential Hand of Yahweh (God) which saved the Jews from Haman's {BOOOOO!} evil plot. 

I'm sure the *booooing* seems out of character for me, but it's what we do when Haman's {BOOOO!} name is read or said. Noise makers or stomping feet are often done to as a means of drowning out his wicked name.

We have found a few children's books out there about Purim, but mostly they seem to be along the lines of retelling the book of Esther. We prefer to read the Scripture Itself, so we aren't checking them out at the library this year.

However, we did come across this fun story...

...and I'm reading it to our younger ones as we prepare for this celebration! Though it doesn't mention Yahweh. Perhaps it's assumed by the author that readers know the history of Purim.

"But Wait! We're not Jews!" You may say.

Yes. We aren't either. But let us remember that we (having been branches on the Wild Olive Tree) are grafted onto that Cultivated Olive Tree- Israel. 

Gentiles are the Wild Olive Tree. But, Gentiles who have come to the faith in Yeshua the Messiah are no longer Gentiles (Gentile is another word for Pagan). It is incorrect to call ourselves Gentile Christians because we would then be calling ourselves Pagan Christians. There is no such thing! They are polar opposites! Therefor, we have been grafted onto the Cultivated Olive Tree. And as such, we are adopted into this family through our faith in Yeshua our Messiah. The Apostle Paul tells us about this in Romans 11.This is a part of our heritage of being adopted into Israel!

Did Yeshua Celebrate Purim?

It isn't clear in Scripture if He did or not. In John chapter 5, it says that Yeshua went to an unnamed feast. Some scholars think He didn't go because it is a minor feast. Some scholars think He did and that it is unnamed as unnamed as a representation of Yahweh being hidden behind the scenes (as His name isn't mentioned in the book of Esther). Yeshua grew up in a Jewish culture, since He was present at Hannukah (another minor feast), it makes sense to me that He would be present at Purim.You can read more about this and  more information on Purim at Hebrew 4 Christians.

How We Prepare...

We Decorate:


Our home is transformed into a lovely *Persian Palace* as we imagine to be. This is a lot of fun to do! It takes the living spaces up a notch!! We don't have it completely decorated yet, but I will try to update this post with another picture soon so you can get a feel for the effect we are going for. :-) 

That little shelf-talker that says, "Faith is not believing that God can, It is knowing that He will." is something that I have had for years. I think it sums up the faith the Jews had in Yahweh and it fits perfectly with this celebration.

Side Note: My friend Trisha is loaning me her Hebrew Linear Bible. Isn't it beautiful? I love It! There really is something about seeing It and learning how to read It in the original languages. How easy it is to try and understand Scripture through our Western thinking in our own languages/cultures. The Hebrew has helped us to realize that Scripture was written with a Hebrew mindset (even when written in the Greek language) because that is the culture of the men which Yahweh inspired to write His written word. When we study the culture, we understand so.much.more!!

We Bake:


What is a Purim Party without some delicious Hamantashen? They smell and taste sooooo yummy. We use homemade freezer jam for the center. Yep, we know every single ingredient that goes into them. Probably like many other recipes, one could replace the flour with gluten free products, but I'm not an expert on that. I'm looking for a yummy gluten free recipe for this year (if you know of one, please let me know in a comment!).


We Dress Up:

Some folks consider this to be a *Jewish Halloween*. Oh deary me! Is that ever off from reality! The roots of Halloween and the roots of Purim are polar opposites! It's a day of Thanksgiving to the One True God of the Bible and has absolutely no pagan origins to it at all

So what's with the costumes anyway? My understanding is that the Jews dress up for Purim as a way to symbolize that Yahweh was hidden behind the scenes (no where in Esther is Yahweh mentioned!). But His hand is seen through the unfolding of these events. 

This year, we're decorating masks to wear. :)


We Research to Learn:

There a so many lessons to learn from in the book of Esther. Do you know that not once is Yahweh mentioned by any of His names in this book? Not even when being prayed to. It's like He is hidden behind the scenes. Clearly His Hand is seen in the unfolding of the events though. 

Ha-Satan (satan) has tried to destroy the Jews endless times. But, Yahweh always has and always will protect Israelites!

We Listen Music:

The Maccabeats. We have really come to like a lot of their music. Here's a clip so you can boogie to if you feel so inclined to.

The lyrics to The Maccabeats- Purim Song include some Hebrew. I'll get ya'll hooked on learning Hebrew yet.) ;-) But one of the phrases I love is "v’nahafoch hu" which means "It was turned upside down." And yes it was indeed! Haman's plans were turned upside down!

Here's a little clip I found on how Purim is celebrated in modern day Israel:

A Purim Party for Our Homeschool Co-op

We had a Purim Party for our homeschool co-op last school year and it was SO fun! It doesn't work out for us to do this year, however, we are having a small impromptu get together at home.

What are you doing to celebrate?


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