I am very pleased to present Messages of Hope for this issue of the Dandenong Journal.

This month I would like to focus on the Jewish festival of Purim.

This festival is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar.  Pruim begins on Saturday night 23rd March and continues through to March 24th extending through Monday in Jerusalem.  It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian empire.

It is considered to be one of the most fun, happy and joyous holidays in the Jewish calendar.

It is regarded as a day of joy, in fact rarely if ever a day was filled with more joy, happiness and sincere celebrations more so than Purim.

Purim is celebrated with food, charity and gatherings.

The four observances of the holiday are to read the book of Esther, give charity to at least two needy individuals, share the gift of food with at least one friend and partake in a festive meal.  Jews all over the world share the Book of Esther on Purim.  Like many Jewish holidays, food and drink are exchanged during Purim.  Some people celebrate by dressing up, having carnivals or sometimes a parade.  The name of the game is to have fun and be happy.

Purim has become synonymous with hamantaschen, which are three cornered pastries typically filled with things like apricot ham, prunes, chocolate or poopy seeds

As a child, I really looked forward to spending time with family and friends over Purim and reading the Book of Esther.

 by Roz Blades