Purim celebrations are ‘out of this world’


The Chabad Center of Merrick-Bellmore-Wantagh celebrated the holiday of Purim with an event that transported attendees to galaxies far, far away.

Purim is a Jewish holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman, who was planning to kill all the Jews in the ancient Persian Empire. The story of Purim is recounted in the Book of Esther. The central figures in the Purim story are Queen Esther, who was a Jewish woman married to the Persian king, and Mordecai, her cousin. Haman, the villain of the story, was the royal vizier who plotted to destroy the Jewish people.

Purim usually falls in late February or March on the Gregorian calendar. It’s marked by several customs and traditions including Reading the Book of Esther, both in the evening and the morning of Purim, sending gifts of food to friends and family, eating a festive meal, often including triangular pastries called hamantaschen, which are filled with sweet fillings such as poppy seeds or fruit preserves, and dressing up in costumes.

The outer space theme at the Chabad’s celebration was embraced by many members of the community — although there were plenty of other creative costumes to be seen around the celebration as well. Families has the option to take part in the Purim party at 10:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m., at the Merrick Golf Course Clubhouse.

Children were able to watch a planetarium show in a dome, enjoy an ‘out of this world’ brunch, take part in fun cosmic-themed activities and make “ha-moon-tash” cookies — a play on words of the traditional hamantaschen.

Whether families came dressed up to celebrate, or just wanted to join in on the Purim fun, the holiday was joyously received by members of the Merrick-Bellmore-Wantagh Jewish community.