Hillel hosts night of fun to celebrate Purim

Ashlyne Wilson

Fun and games with Hillel will be held at Buffalo Wild Wings on Thursday, to celebrate Purim.

Starting at 8 p.m., Hillel will host a celebration of a mask making contest, raffles and prizes with free appetizers and soft drinks provided.

Purim is a Jewish holiday, told by the biblical Book of Esther, which tells the story of when Jewish people were saved from extermination while living in Persia.

This is a festive holiday that involves face masks, costumes and lots of drinks.

Natalie Schafer, a junior psychology major, is one of the students who organized the event.

“There are several holidays and celebrations in the Jewish culture that are used to pay homage to how we were not destroyed,” she said. “Purim is one of those holidays.”

Natalie said that she and some of the other students who organized the event made a drink in collaboration with BW3s in honor of the holiday, called the “Purim-tini.”

“It’s an interesting holiday, especially in modern times, because it celebrates the identity and pride of the Jewish people in being Jewish and being who we are,” said Ricky Marcus, Hillel’s director of Jewish Student Life. “A lot of people consider it the Jewish version of Halloween, because we dress in costume with the idea of hiding your identity while being proud of it.

People of the Jewish religion wear masks and costumes for Purim because in the Bible, it is said that Queen Esther hid that she was a Jew from her husband King Ahasuerus, only revealing herself when her people were to be exterminated.           

Ricky said that Purim is required to be celebrated in four ways: celebrate with a festive meal, read the Megillah (Esther’s scroll), give of yourself to the poor, and give someone else gifts of food.

In addition to the costumes and food, Ricky said there will be games involving Haman, the king’s chief minister and villain of the story who wanted to kill all the Jews.

Natalie said they will be providing Hamantaschen cookies will be served with three points, in representation of the three pointed hat Haman wore a part of the kingdom.

There will be an area where students will be able to create their own scroll or write their own story, and then Hillel will be giving out food bags to everyone. They are trying to incorporate all requirements of the celebration into the event.

Another less talked about part of the celebration of Purim is that people are supposed to get really drunk.  Ricky said that usually Judaism does not allow for people to get drunk because it alters the mind, but on this holiday it is allowed.

He said people are allowed to drink on this holiday because in the Bible, King Ahasuerus, had drinking feasts that could last from six-months to even years.

“For this holiday you’re supposed to drink to the point where you can’t tell the difference between your friends and your enemies,” he said

He stresses that although the event will be at a bar, Hillel is not promoting that students drink excessively, but recognizes that drinking is a value of the holiday. They will not be providing drinks but if students are of age and want to drink at the bar, they can.

“Purim is a lighthearted celebration on a very serious note,” said Natalie, who said that everyone, no matter what age or religion is invited.

For more information on Purim, go to http://www.reformjudaism.org/jewish-holidays/purim

Contact Ashlyne Wilson at [email protected].