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Purim 2017 in San Miguel de Allende

By Carole Stone

Bad guys fight good guys. Bad guys lose. Good guys win. Good guys celebrate with a banquet. The basis of a good story, no? Beginning at sunset on March 11, Jews the world over celebrate Purim, an annual tradition. It’s an old story: King Ahasuerus (possibly Artaxerxes I) of Persia, incited by his villainous Prime Minister Haman, sought to murder all of the Jews in the enormous Persian Empire “in a single day, in all the land from Hodo to Kush.” The date for the genocide had been decided by lottery, hence the name Purim, which means “lots” in ancient Persian. Had this plot succeeded, all the Jews would have been exterminated. When the king realized that his beautiful bride, Esther, was herself Jewish, he tried to reverse his edict. He could not, and so he gave the Jews permission to fight back to save themselves. They triumphed; Haman was hanged for his treachery, and all celebrated.

Cleansing Meditation
By Yossi Mousalli
Fri, Mar 10, 5–5:45pm

Musical Kabbalat Shabbat Program
By Yossi Mousalli
Fri, Mar 10, 6:15–7:15pm

Shared Shabbat Dinner
Fri, Mar 10, 7:30–9:30pm

Shabbat Morning Service
By Yossi Mousalli
Sat, Mar 11, 9–11:30am

Torah Discussion
Sat, Mar 11, 12:30pm
English and Spanish follow

Chant Havdalah
Sat, Mar 11, 7:30pm

Purim: Second Megillah Reading
Sun, Mar 12, 11am

All events are in Jewish Cultural and Community Center of San Miguel de Allende,
Moras 47, Colonia Allende

Traditional Jews celebrate the holiday of Purim by reading the story from the Book of Esther, which recounts the Purim miracle. Here in San Miguel, we read this story in both Spanish and English, and each time Haman’s name is mentioned, we try to obliterate its sound with noisemakers. The children love this, but then again, aren’t we all children? We also traditionally give money to the poor and small gifts of food to our friends; we eat fruit-filled pastries called hamantashen, or Haman’s pockets; and we hold a Purim feast dressed in costumes and drink wine and other alcoholic beverages.

Access your inner child and celebrate Purim with us at the JC3. Our festive weekend begins on Friday evening, March 10, with a visit from Yossi Mousalli, an Israeli-Argentine who visits us often and participates in our services with his warm voice and guitar. He will lead a meditation at 5pm, with Kabbalat Shabbat starting at 6:15pm, followed by a potluck dinner at 7:30pm. Yossi will also lead our Shabbat morning services on March 11, beginning at 9am. Torah discussion in both English and Spanish follow at about 12:30pm. On Saturday evening, March 11, at 7:30pm, we will chant Havdalah, a short service which separates the Sabbath from the weekdays. Immediately afterwards, we will participate in the first reading of the Megillah, the Story of Esther, tequila to follow, of course.

On Sunday, March 12, at 11am, we will again participate in the reading of the Megillah, after which we will hold our annual Purim Party. This year our theme is: “Come as your Favorite Gypsy.” Both Friday night and Sunday comida will be covered dish, so please bring something pareve or dairy (no meat or poultry, please) to share. We have hired gypsy musicians to add to the festivities, and, yes, there will be hamantashen!

Chag Purim (Happy Purim) to all!


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