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March 23, 2012

The festival of Purim

Purim, one of the most joyous holidays in the Jewish calendar was held a week ago, March 8 and 9, celebrating the deliverance of the Jewish people in exile in Persia. The story is told in the Book of Esther, which is read as part of the holiday, remembering how a young Jewish girl became queen of Persia and risked the anger of her new husband to get him to prevent an attack on all Jews living in Persia, men, women, and children. The story, also called the Megillah, tells of the fall of the king’s feared adviser, who perishes out of his own malice, the bravery of a young woman, and the perseverance of the Jewish people. The festival is celebrated with gifts of food and drink, feasting, and games, especially dressing in costumes to remember how Esther was chosen as most beautiful in the kingdom. -- Lloyd Young (22 photos total)

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish boy stands dressed in a costume during celebrations for the holiday of Purim at the Belz Hasidic dynasty synagogue in Jerusalem on March 8. Purim is a celebration of the Jews' salvation from genocide in ancient Persia, as recounted in the Book of Esther. (Baz Ratner/Reuters)

Ultra Orthodox Jewish boys dressed for Purim pose for a photograph during celebration of Purim festival in Bnei Brak, Israel on March 7. (Ariel Schalit/Associated Press) #

Ultra Orthodox Jewish men celebrate the holiday of Purim in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood on March 9. (Baz Ratner/Reuters) #

A boy dressed in costume looks from under a reading stand as Ultra Orthodox Jewish men read the Book of Esther during celebrations for the holiday of Purim at the Belz Hasidic dynasty synagogue in Jerusalem on March 8. Purim is a celebration of the Jews' salvation from genocide in ancient Persia, as recounted in the Book of Esther. (Baz Ratner/Reuters) #

Ultra Orthodox Jews read the Esther scrolls at a synagogue in the Israeli town of Bnei Brak near Tel Aviv on March 7 during celebrations of the Purim holiday. The carnival-like Purim holiday is celebrated from the evening of March 7 with parades and costume parties to commemorate a plot to exterminate them in the ancient Persian empire 2,500 years ago, as recorded in the Book of Esther. (Mehahem KahanaAFP/Getty Images) #

Ultra Orthodox Jews belonging to the Lelov, a Hasidic dynasty from Poland, dance as they celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim late on March 8 in Beit Shemesh, a religious town near Jerusalem. Purim marks the deliverance of the Jewish people from a genocidal plot in ancient Persia, as recorded in the Book of Esther. (Mehahem KahanaAFP/Getty Images) #

A Ultra Orthodox Jewish man arrives at a synagogue during the Purim festival in Jerusalem on March 8. (Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press) #

Ultra Orthodox Jewish men celebrate Purim inside a synagogue in Jerusalem on March 9. The Jewish holiday of Purim celebrates the Jews' salvation from genocide in ancient Persia, as recounted in the Scroll of Esther. (Bernat Armangue/Associated Press) #

Ultra Orthodox Jews celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim on March 8 in Benei Brak, Israel. The carnival-like Purim holiday is celebrated with parades and costume parties to commemorate the deliverance of the Jewish people from a plot to exterminate them in the ancient Persian empire. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images) #

Israeli soldiers keep guard as an Israeli settler's daughter celebrates the annual Purim parade on March 8 in the divided West Bank city of Hebron. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images) #

Ultra Orthodox Jews wearing costumes, celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim on March 9 in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Israeli soldier kept guard as Israeli settlers wearing various costumes to celebrate the annual Purim parade on March 8 in the divided West Bank city of Hebron. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images) #

Utra Orthodox Jewish men celebrate Purim inside a synagogue in Jerusalem on March 9. The Jewish holiday of Purim celebrates the Jews' salvation from genocide in ancient Persia, as recounted in the Scroll of Esther. (Bernat Armangue/Associated Press) #

Ultra Orthodox Jews celebrate the Jewish festival of Purim in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood on March 9. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Jewish settler wearing a wig walks with children past Israeli soldiers standing guard in the West Bank city of Hebron on March 8 as they take part in a parade for the Jewish holiday of Purim. (Nir Elias/Reuters) #

Ultra Orthodox Jewish sisters Simcha (left) and Miri dressed as dolls in a box wait for their mother to join in the celebration of the Purim festival in Bnei Brak, Israel on March 8. (Ariel Schalit/Associated Press) #

Israelis dressed up in costumes are seen during a street party to mark the Jewish festival of Purim, in Tel Aviv on March 9. (Oded Balilty/Associated Press) #

A woman wearing zombie make-up and a wedding dress talks on the phone while waiting for a friend to join the 2012 Zombie Walk during the Purim festival in Tel Aviv on March 6. About 250 participants matched in central Tel Aviv during the walk. (Ariel Schalit/Associated Press) #

Israeli dancers perform during a Purim parade in Holon, Israel on March 8. The Jewish holiday of Purim celebrates the Jews' salvation from genocide in ancient Persia, as recounted in the Scroll of Esther. (Dan Balilty/Associated Press) #

A child is seen dressed in a costume to celebrate during the Purim festival at a synagogue in an Ultra Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem on March 8. (Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press) #

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish child dressed in a traditional Purim costume in the Mea Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem on March 8. The festival of Purim commemorates the rescue of Jews' from genocide in ancient Persia. (Bernat Armangue/Associated Press) #

An Ultra Orthodox Jewish girl was dressed as a bride during the Purim festival in Bnei Brak, Israel on March 8. Purim celebrates the Jews' salvation from genocide in ancient Persia. #


 
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