By Marlene Burns
PURIM: FEAST OF LOTS
This image is an expression of the festive Jewish holiday called Purim.
As told in the Megillat Esther, the story recounts a time of persecution of the Jews.
Following the destruction of the first Temple in 423 B.C.E., Jews were exiled to Babylonia.
Some 50 years later, Persia conquered Babylon and King Achashverosh established his kingdom in the city of Shushon. The villain in this story was Haman, who convinced the King that the Jews needed to be exterminated. Lots were drawn to decide the date of the annihilation.
Working together, our heroes Mordechai and his niece Esther (who hid her Jewish identity and became the new Queen)) were able to save the Jews.
When the Book of Esther is publicly chanted on the 14th day of the month of Adar,
the crowd drowns out Haman’s name with the sound of groggers.
Purim, the Feast of Lots, celebrated with costumes, drinking and merriment,
is one of our most joyous holidays.
We make Hamanatashen cookies, to remind us of Haman’s triangular shaped hat.
The central shape in the painting is a triangle that moves clockwise to form a Star of David,
a symbol of our faith. The location of this story is alluded to with the Persian arched portal serving as a backdrop, as well as the decoration that frames the base of the design.
God is represented by the color red.
Not only does He anchor the story, He is woven through it to remind our people that
God is always with us, even during our exiles.
For the complete series of Judaic paintings and teachings by Marlene Burns, please go to: www.KavanahPress.com