About the Jewish Holiday Purim, with Songs

Joanie Calem sent us this article about a Jewish holiday called Purim. Joanie is a musician, singer/song-writer, and teacher. She moved to Israel when she was 15 and and lived there for 23 years. Now she lives in the US and is involved in music and story programs for children including one called, “A Musical Trip Around the World…


Purim is a holiday that comes in the Hebrew month of Adar, which is generally in February or March. Purim celebrates the story of the Jewish people of ancient Persia as told in the Book of Esther, (Megillat Esther) in the Tanach, the Hebrew Old Testament.

In the story, the Jewish people are saved by Queen Esther from a murderous plot against them. It is a dramatic story, and Esther is brave and heroic, and she and her uncle Mordechai are well-respected characters in the story.

Purim is a fun holiday, with a few different traditions. Children dress up in costumes, and often act out the Purim story in plays called Purimspiel. People make special cookies, called hamentaschen, which are triangle shaped cookies that are filled with sweet fruit, poppy seeds, or chocolate. They are triangles, because supposedly Haman (who is the evil character in the story) wore a triangular hat. Everyone shares cookies with their friends, and prepares plates of sweets and fruit (mishloach manot) to give to both their friends and the poor.

Traditionally, the book of Esther is read aloud in synagogue and at Purim parties, and every time the name of Haman (remember, he’s the bad guy) is mentioned, the audience all yells, boos, and shakes noisemakers, called groggers in Yiddish, or Ra’ashanim in Hebrew. It is also a very musical holiday for that reason!

Below you can listen to the song “Purim Time Is Here” by Joanie Calem…

Purim Songs

Yiddish – האָפּ מײַנע המן־טאַשן (Hop! Mayne homentashn)  – Hop My Hamantashen

Hebrew – La Kova Shelie Shalosh Pinot – My Hat Has Three Corners

Some more Purim Songs Joanie has sung and posted on YouTube:

Hop Meine Hamentashen in English with story

Hop Meine Hamentashen in English (just the song)

Many thanks to Joanie Calem for sharing the traditions and music of Purim with us!

-Mama Lisa

NOTE: Joanie later expanded this article to include more Purim Customs from Around the World.

Photo of Hamantashen by Infrogmation, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Recipe for Hamantashen

This article was posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 at 9:54 pm and is filed under Children's Songs, Holiday Songs, Holidays Around the World, Israel, Israeli Children's Songs, Mama Lisa, Purim, Purim Songs, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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