Jewish festival

The Jewish Community of the Algarve will be celebrating Purim, one of the most joyous festivals in the Jewish calendar, with a tea party on Sunday, March 27. 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. Previously, Mordecai had overheard people plotting to assassinate the King and he reported this, thereby saving the King’s life. Mordecai now learnt that Hamman had convinced the King to sign a decree allowing him, Hamman, to kill the Jews of Persia. Mordecai then convinced Queen Esther to intercede with the King on his behalf and in order to save his people.

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 then hanged on the very gallows he had 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 for saving 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, contact Ralf Pinto on 282 416 710 or email [email protected]