The Jewish holiday of Purim begins at sundown tonight. The Purim story is recalled in Megillat Esther (the biblical book of Esther), and commemorates the miraculous salvation of the Jewish people from genocide in Ancient Persia during the fourth century BCE.
Celebrated with costumes, feasts, libations, charity, and gift giving, Purim is often referred to as the “Jewish Halloween.” Jewish people around the world eat hamantaschen, triangle-shaped cookies that symbolize the defeat of the enemy Haman, the King’s evil minister, and spin groggers (noisemakers) to drown out his name during the traditional reading of the Purim story.
We learn of Queen Vashti, the King’s first wife who courageously refuses the King’s demand for her to appear at his banquet so that he can show her off to the men in attendance. She defied the King and was banished. Her bravery and subsequent expulsion paved the path for Esther, a Jewish woman who became the new Queen of Persia. Ultimately it is Esther who uses her voice to save the Jewish people from Haman’s plan to exterminate them.
Purim is not just a time to dress up, but a time in which we celebrate the women who made critical contributions to the survival of the Jewish people. With International Women’s Day just two weeks ago and Purim beginning tonight, we honor the women of Coastal Roots Farm who embody the same qualities of dignity, courage, and independence we learn from Vashti and Esther, feminist heroes whose stories remain relevant today.
At the Farm, we are blessed with an incredible community of students, volunteers, and staff of all genders. Join us as we celebrate and highlight women everywhere this Purim. Chag Purim Sameach (Happy Purim)!
Written by Kesha Dorsey Spoor, Philanthropy and Communications Manager at Coastal Roots Farm