Purim Planning Pointers From USY!
The Four Mitzvot of Purim
1. Listen to the Megillah
- We make sure to hear the story twice. Once during the evening and once the following day. There's a widespread tradition to make noise when you hear Haman's name to "erase it" from our memory. It's one of the few times people want the kids making noise in the synagogue!
Program/Classroom Idea: Make a gragger out of recycled items
2. Mishloach Manot-Sending gifts of food.
-We send a package of at least two kinds of edible items to a friend on Purim day. These yummy treats should be ready to eat!
Program/Classroom Idea: Write cards to put into baskets with snacks. Have the kids write as one of the Purim story characters!
3. Matanot L'evyonim- Gifts to the poor.
-Though it is important to give tzedakah everyday, it is a special mitzvah to give charity on Purim. Money should be given to at least two poor people. If you can't find a poor person to give to directly you can put money in a tzedakah box.
Program/Classroom Idea: Make a tzedakah box to put your matanot into! Raise money by having a Purim Karaoke program-pay to sing!
4. Seudat Purim-The Purim Feast.
-One of the things that tends to make people happy is a good meal. Purim has a special meal during the day that is always nice to share with family and friends. The mood should be joyful and a bit silly.
Program/Classroom Idea: Have a hamentashen taste test! Have the kids/teens tell jokes between each course! Let each one do an impression of you!
V'Nahafochu-A world turned upside down!
The idea of things being topsy-turvy, flipped around, is an often overlooked Purim theme. Haman ordered Mordecai to be hung and ended up on the gallows. Esther hid her identity as a Jew and ended up as the Jewish national representative. Here's some ideas for kids to match the theme:
- Try having the students take turns being teacher for a day
- Have a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
- Make Purim masks. Here's a Video!
- Everyone can wear their clothes backwards
- Two words: Headstand Contest!