Purim is right around the corner. It’s the story of the celebration of Queen Esther of Persia. Many know the story as it is recounted in the Megillah, also known as the Book of Esther in the Bible. But there are lots of fun, interesting facts about Purim, you might not know.
Here are 11 Fast, Fun Facts About Purim to Share with Your Friends
- Queen Esther’s Hebrew name was Hadasaah (“Esther” is Persian)
- Mordechai was the first person in history to be called a “Jew”. Esther was raised by her cousin Mordecai. He wasn’t the first Jewish person; he’s thought to be the first person to be referred to as a Jew rather than an Israelite or Hebrew.
- Achashverosh searched four years for a queen, during which he considered more than 1400 contestants, before choosing Esther.
- Every Purim, our Sunflower Bakery students bake over 26,000 Hamantashen.
- Vashti (Achashverosh’s first queen) was the great-granddaughter of Nebuchadnezzer, the Babylonian emperor who destroyed the first Holy Temple.
- Queen Esther may have been a vegetarian (for a while at least). Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus College of Staten Island reports, “According to the Talmud, Queen Esther, the heroine of the Purim story, was a vegetarian while she lived in the palace of King Achashverus, in order to avoid violating the kosher dietary laws while keeping her Jewish identity secret. Therefore, Purim is an ideal time for Jews to shift toward vegetarian diets.”
- The Word Purim Means Lot –That’s lot as in drawing lots like for a lottery. In this case it refers to the way Haman chose the date for slaughtering all of the Jews in Persia.
The earliest observances of Purim are believed to date back to the 5th century BC.
- Mordechai was a very old man during the story of Purim. (He was already a member of the Sanhedrin, the highest court of Torah law in Jerusalem, 79 years before the miracle of Purim!)
The day before Purim is a day of fasting, to commemorate Esther’s fasting.
- G‑d’s name is not mentioned even once in the entire Book of Esther.
Purim begins on the evening of March 11th. The deadline to order hamantashen and other Purim treats from the Sunflower Bakery is March 6th at 12pm. Place your order today so you don’t miss out!
Selected trivia compiled by Chabad.org staff. More Purim trivia available at http://www.chabad.org/holidays/purim/article_cdo/aid/1384/jewish/Did-You-Know.htm