The Museum of

       Shabbat and the Jewish Holidays






A Purim Celebration
Czernowitz, Ukraine (then Cernăuţi, Romania)

On Purim, to celebrate the defeat of Haman, who intended to kill all the Jews of Persia and also to praise the deeds of Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai, who were instrumental in saving the Jews, we read "Megillat Esther", a scroll, a rolled up parchment in which the ancient story is told.

photo: Pearl Fichman (then Spiegel)

Whenever the name Haman was read, children used to rattle a noisemaker called a "grager". My Father, who had a beautiful voice, would read the Megilla at home for Mother and the children; we would call in the neighbors and the gragers were going with great glee. After the reading of the megilla, being sure that the Jews had all been saved, we all sat down to a fine traditional meal of pot roast, potato pancakes, a strudel with honey, apples and nuts called "flooden" and the traditional Hamantaschen, a triangular yeast cake filled with poppy seeds and honey.
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From Pearl Fichman's memoirs, "Before Memories Fade," 1989.

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