Jewish celebrate Purim Festival

THE JEWISH Community of Algarve will be celebrating Purim, one of the most joyous festivals in the Jewish calendar, with a tea party on Sunday, March 5.

The festival commemorates events in Persia under King Ahasuerus, when Prime Minister Hamman’s plans to kill all Jews in the country were thwarted.

The King’s wife Vashti had fallen into disfavour with him, and Esther, a cousin of Mordecai, a Jew, was chosen as the King’s new wife. When Mordecai overheard people plotting to assassinate the King, he reported this, thus saving the King’s life. Later, Mordecai learnt that Hamman had convinced the King to sign a decree allowing him, Hamman, to kill the Jews of Persia. Mordecai convinced Queen Esther to intercede with the King on his behalf in order to save his people. But the King told Esther that he could not withdraw a decree once made, but gave the Jews the right to defend themselves against any attack. This enabled the Jews to defeat Hamman, who was hanged on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai.

Mordecai was led through the city streets on the King’s horse, an honour bestowed on him by the King in appreciation of earlier having saved his life and for having defeated Hamman, an evil and unworthy Prime Minister. The King appointed Mordecai as his new Prime Minister.

• For further information about the festival, contact Ralf Pinto on Tel 282 416 710, Fax 282 416 515 or e-mail [email protected]