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Dramatic Thoughts of Purim

The Jewish Feast of Lots or ‘Purim’ took place this past weekend. Not that I’m Jewish and not that I actually did anything special to celebrate. However, as you may know, I am writing a devotional book based on the Jewish calendar, and as the Jewish year winds down, Purim is the last of the celebrations.

(You can get the Spring edition of DIVINE APPOINTMENTS in time to start the new Jewish year on March 14. )

I was fascinated by this feast for a number of reasons. First, who doesn’t love the story of Queen Esther? She was the brave young Persian Queen who saved her people from the vile schemes of Haman, the dastardly villain in the tale.

What really piqued my interest, though, was the way the celebration is so dramatic. As a former Drama teacher, I could really see myself getting into these celebrations! Participants are encouraged to wear costumes and masks. A masquerade party anyone? I have some absolutely beautiful masks stored way which I did;t want to drag out, but I’ll be ready for another year. I did find some masks that I have in my ‘tickle trunk’ for the grandkids, though.

The entire story of Esther is either read or re-enacted in some way. It could be readers’ theatre style, a play with actors, or even a puppet show. The really fun part is that it is totally interactive. The audience comes equipped with noisemakers and every time the villain’s name comes up or he appears on stage they boo and rattled their noisemakers. Sweet!

Anyway, it made me think that perhaps in the future I am going to have to figure out a way to celebrate this with my grandchildren or some Sunday School kids. Learning about it made me feel nostalgic for the good old days of teaching theatre!

1 Comment

  1. I remember a pair of paintings in the National Gallery by old masters about that story.

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