Purim (and Nowruz) Sameach
Everyone links Christmas and Hanukkah but has anyone noticed that this year Purim and Nowruz, the Persian New Year, fall together? It seems Iran and Israel are stuck with each other.
In 539 BC, troops of the Persian Achaemenid Empire under Cyrus the Great decisively defeated those of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. The Jews came under Iranian rule,. exposing both groups to each other’s customs. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the story of Purim as told in the Book of Esther is adapted from an Iranian novella about the shrewdness of harem queens. Perhaps Purim may be an adoption of Iranian New Year. Who knows perhaps it was the other way around.
During the Nowruz holidays, people are expected to make short visits to the homes of family, friends and neighbours. Visitors are offered tea and pastries, cookies, fresh and dried fruits and mixed nuts or other snacks. Mishloah manot?
At a time when Iranian threats to destroy Israel come weekly it is somehow reassuring that a Persian tried once and failed.
Happy Purim to all Five Minutes for Israel readers who celebrate it.
About the 5-in-a-star
Hamentaschen, literally ‘Haman pockets’ in Yiddish or oznei Haman, literally ‘Haman’s ears’ in Hebrew are filled-pocket cookie or pastry recognizable for its triangular shape, usually associated with the Jewish holiday of Purim and Haman, the villain in the Purim story. If you haven’t experienced them, you should.