Purim celebration to be held in Rat

Hillel and Kent Student Center Programming will host a Purim celebration in the Rathskeller tomorrow from 8 to 10 p.m.

Purim is “one of the most exciting and fun holidays of the year,” said Mike Levinstein, assistant director of Hillel.

The celebration of Jewish empowerment of the holiday closely resembles Halloween or Mardi Gras because celebrators usually wear masks and costumes, Levinstein said.

The masquerade is based on a Bible story in which the Jews in Persia were slated to be destroyed by Haman, a Persian royal adviser. Queen Esther told King Ahashverosh, her husband, about the plot to destroy the Jews and that she was secretly Jewish, Levinstein said, which is where the masquerade theme originates.

The King could not stop the adviser from his plot, so he gave permission to the Jews to take up arms against Haman.

Levinstein said this story is unique because Jews are usually “beaten down and chased around” in stories until there is divine intervention.

This story empowers the Jewish people because they fight for themselves, Levinstein said.

The event will include a costume contest, karaoke, free food, games and door prizes, Levinstein said.

– Pat Jarrett