Jewish community celebrates Purim - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jewish community celebrates Purim

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - South Mississippi's Jewish community is celebrating how people of faith can triumph over adversity.

On Sunday in Gulfport, Congregation Beth Israel held its Purim Carnival. Parents and children dressed up in elaborate costumes and played games to win prizes and special treats.

The story behind Purim dates back centuries when a man named Haman tried to force the Jews to convert to his religion. Queen Ester and her cousin Mordechai saved the Jews from persecution.

Lori Beth Susman of Congregation Beth Israel said, "One of the religious aspects is the reading of the Megillah. The Megillah is the whole story of Purim. We read the Megillah the other night."

"While you're reading it you 'Boo' for Haman. Whenever his name is mentioned you 'Boo'. When you hear Mordechi's name you cheer. It's a good time. You hear the story, and it's actually one of the commandments of Purim."

Congregation Beth Israel members say no Purim celebration would be complete without eating the traditional treat Hamantaschen. The pastry is often filled chocolate or fruit preserve.

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