The Purim Story
Once upon a time in a town called Shushan in the land of Persia, there lived a man called Mordechai. He was a very good man, and always tried to help people and do the right thing. Mordechai lived with his niece Esther, and they were Jewish, just like you. Esther was her Persian name. Her Hebrew name was Hadassah. (What is your Hebrew name?)
In the same town there was a Melech (king) named Ahashverosh. He lived in a big palace and had lots of money, but he was a bit lonely. He needed a new Malkah (queen) to come and live with him in the palace. He decided to have a beauty contest and eventually decided that the one person he liked most of all was Esther, who was not only pretty but also kind and very smart.
So Esther/Hadassah said goodbye to her Uncle Mordechai and went to live in the palace with the Melech and become his Malkah, and as Mordechai had told her, she kept it a secret that she was Jewish.
Now there was a man who worked with Melech Ahashverosh in the palace who was not very nice. His name was Haman. He expected everyone to do exactly what he said, and to bow down to him when they saw him, and he got angry if someone didn’t do exactly what he wanted.
One day Haman met Mordechai, and Mordechai did not bow down to him. Haman became very angry and he went to the Melech and said, “There are some people in your kingdom who do things differently from other people, who don’t obey our laws and I think we should get rid of them.”
The Melech didn’t really know what Haman was talking about, but he said “OK, you are my trusted advisor. Do what you think is best.”
What Haman wanted to do was to get rid of Mordechai and all the Jews. (Of course, he didn’t know that Esther was Jewish!)
When the Jewish people heard that Haman planned to get rid of them they were very sad and upset. They liked living in the kingdom. What could they do?? Mordechai sent a message to Esther at the palace, and the message said “Esther we need your help! That nasty Haman wants to get rid of us all! Please talk to the Melech and ask him to stop Haman.”
Malkah Esther thought “I must be very brave” and she made a special dinner for the King, with all his favorite foods. Then she invited the Melech and Haman to come and have dinner with her. The Melech thought dinner was delicious, and he was so happy that after he finished eating, he said to Malkah Esther “What can I do for you, to say thank you?”
Malkah Esther said “Oh please, I need you to help me and my uncle Mordechai and all my people, the Jewish People, because someone wants to get rid of us”.
“That is terrible!” said the Melech, because he loved Esther and couldn’t believe someone would cause her such trouble. “Who wants to get rid of you, your family and your people?”
Esther pointed at Haman and said “It’s him! Haman wants to get rid of us!”
“Oh no!” said the Melech, and he was very angry indeed. He called his guards and said “Take away Haman and get rid of him instead!”
Then the king asked Mordechai to come and work at the palace and do Haman’s job – but of course Mordechai was much nicer than Haman! He made sure that people of all traditions felt safe and secure in the kingdom.
We celebrate this happy story by dressing up in costumes, giving Tzedakah and eating Hamentashen on the holiday of Purim.
Don’t forget to use a home-made Gragger every time you read Haman’s name!!
FUN & EASY TWIST
Make this into a “real” megillah sroll by printing it onto paper in the landscape (not portrait) setting and wrapping it around in a roll. Then just unfurl it with a flourish. Feel free to say “Hear ye, hear ye” before reading your Purim story!!
O once there was a wicked, wicked man
And Haman was his name, sir
He would have murdered all the Jews
Though they were not to blame, sir
Oh, today we’ll merry merry be,
And nosh some hamentaschen.
And Esther was the lovely queen
Of king Achashverosh
When Haman said he’d kill us all
Oh my how he did scare us.
But Mordechai her cousin bold
Said: “what a dreadful chutzpa!
If guns wewre but invented now
This Haman I would shoot, sir.
The guest of honor he shall be
This clever Mr. Smarty
And high above us he shall swing
At a little hanging party.
Of all his cruel and unkind ways
This little joke did cure him
And don’t forget we owe him thanks
For this jolly feast of Purim.
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