The cheerful spirit of Purim was palpable at Davis Renov Stahler (DRS) Yeshiva High School’s annual party on March 15, as students and families celebrated the holiday.
“Purim is the most joyous day in the Jewish calendar,” said DRS Principal Rabbi Yisroel Kaminetsky. “One of the primary goals of DRS is to show teenagers the beauty, excitement and the joy of being a Jew. The excitement of Purim, where we celebrate the delivery of the Jewish people out of the hands of the wicked Haman with singing, dancing, good food and good cheer, serves to remind us of all that we need to be thankful for and enjoy in our lives.”
Haman, an advisor to King Ahasueros of Persia, planned to kill all the Jews in the empire. His plot was foiled by Mordecai and his adopted daughter, Esther, who had become the queen. The story of Purim is recounted in the Book of Esther known as the Megillah.
Rabbi Kaminetsky began by reciting the blessings and read the Megillah, which tells the story of Purim. There was a festive meal, which was highlighted by a siyum (completion) of Tractate Megillah by 31 students who took it upon themselves to voluntarily study the portion of Talmud for 60 days leading up to the holiday.
It continued with singing and dancing to celebrate the spirit of the holiday. “The Purim joy was contagious — everyone could feel the Purim spirit,” freshman Adam Zahler said, regarding the festive dancing. Student-created comedy videos in the joyous spirit of Purim were shown and the students laughed hysterically.
Students sported an array of costumes from elves to wizards to Lego bricks, as they displayed a sense of togetherness and spirit. “It’s great to see everybody come together dressed in all different types of costumes celebrating the spirit of Purim together,” said sophomore Ruvie Sturm.