This coming Wednesday evening and Thursday day, thousands of Jews from hundreds of communities across the former Soviet Union will be celebrating the holiday of Purim in all of its pride and glory.
Jewish children from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Azerbaijan, and additional countries in the FSU will be putting on costumes and gearing up for a day filled with music, heritage, treats, humor, friendship and community.
Jews from all walks of life will be hearing the traditional reading of the Megillah, the Book of Esther, in synagogues, JCC’s and many other locations throughout the FSU. When the name of Haman, the man who vowed to destroy the Jewish nation, will be read, the booing and noise-making of the various congregations will be deafening.
There are few nations in the world that can relate to the story of Purim quite as well as Jews who experienced the suffocating grip of the Soviet Regime. Few people can picture evil being stomped out quite as clearly as Jews who experienced evil first hand. And few can celebrate the freedom to be Jewish without fear as the Jews throughout the FSU can today.
There will be gatherings and celebrations for all age groups including, women’s clubs, teenagers, school-aged children, preschoolers, college students, the elderly and the general community.
Mishloach Manot, the traditional food packages that are exchanged amongst friends on Purim, will be delivered with much joy and celebration to Jews in hospitals and prisons. Elderly individuals and needy families will open their doors to joyous community members, both young and old, dressed in costumes, who will deliver beautiful food packages to them along with a large dose of cheer and joy.
On Thursday afternoon, hundreds will partake of festive meals to celebrate the freedom and joy that comes from overpowering evil and standing together proudly as Jews.