Purim and all the other Festivals of God can be found in the book I AM the WAY:  













The Jewish Rabbis have added an extra month this year (2019)––Adar II––because God shortened our months sometime during the Babylonian exile, and therefore there are actually thirteen new moons in a year about every nineteen years––this year being one of them. Normally Purim falls during February, but this year Purim is on March 21-22, 2019 because it is to be celebrated on the 14th and the 15th of Adar, and the Rabbis have chosen to celebrate it in Adar II.


Purim

(pronounced: poo-reem)

(Lots)


You can find Purim at the end of the book of Esther (verses 9:18-32). It is a story of how the Hebrews have continually been put in harm’s way (due to their own disobedience), only to be rescued just in the nick of time. Haman (Haw-mawn), a wicked Agagite who hated the Hebrews because of a 500-year-old generational hatred, conspired to destroy them. But because Haman was under the King, and Esther was married to the King, she beseeched the favor of the King to save her people, under very great fear for her own life. And of course, just when it appears as if all is hopeless, God uses the King to save His people.


The story of Esther is the prime example of how God works in our lives––just when the situation seems completely and inevitably impossible, unbearable and hopeless, God steps in as our Savior (Yeshua). Keep in mind that these situations only come about when we are disobedient to God’s Way (Torah).

The story of Esther was the first attempt at genocide, and the way it was thwarted was nothing less than miraculous. God is seemingly absent in this story, but the Hebrews were sort of still in exile, so they feared that God had rejected them, and were no longer His Chosen People. All looked hopeless to God’s people in the natural, just as it has each time someone has tried to annihilate the whole race of the Hebrews during, and since that time.

Ordinarily God would not allow a Hebrew to marry a Persian, but in this case God planned the whole thing. Esther is divinely maneuvered into the position of Queen, married to the King of Persia––a man who had recently demonstrated that he would not help the Hebrews for he was the one who halted the rebuilding of the Second Temple (Ezra 4:6-24).

But God used this impossible situation in order to glorify Himself––as Queen, Esther was in the unique position to save her people from annihilation. God used her to stand in the gap for His people. But it wouldn’t be a simple task, because God was expecting Esther, being in the position to beseech the favor of the king, to also risk her life in order to do so.


Yeshua is the God of our Salvation––our God is Who saved the Hebrew people from annihilation, under seemingly impossible odds––exactly the way God likes to do things (so we will know Who is the One Who saved us)––because of mankind’s chronic disobedience, this is the only way to show the rest of the world His Sovereignty and Glory. The event described in Esther was the miqra for all the times that the Hebrew people have faced impending destruction, only to be saved from annihilation in the very last second––and their Salvation was none other than Yahweh Yeshua (Yahweh, our Salvation).

Purim is the result of what was a typical event for the Hebrews: many men throughout history have tried to annihilate the Hebrews, and the evil Haman was one of many, but the first to be recorded to try just that. God allowed this event because the Hebrews were in disobedience––they had been released from their exile and were told to return to Jerusalem, but most of them did not. Interestingly, this always seems to be the case and it always results in a Jacob’s Trouble for the Hebrews.

Esther is also the miqra for the end of times, for Yeshua will one last time save His people from the brink of annihilation (most likely from the muslims). And He will reveal Himself to them as their Salvation––their Yeshua!

Yeshua has fulfilled this festival numerous times, and He will again at the end of the age. Purim is a celebration of past Salvation for God’s people, but it is also a celebration of Salvation for today and for the future. And Yeshua is literally our Salvation!


Celebrating Purim
Purim is a two day (verses 9:21 & 27) celebration of the saving of the Hebrew people from annihilation. It is the second joyous and festive holiday of the year (Sukkot/Tabernacles being the first). As a part of the festivities, gifts of food (possibly gift baskets of food) are given to each other and to the poor (Esther 9:22). In Israel Purim is the main gift-giving holiday, and it is a celebration of Life and Salvation––which is of course Yeshua!

• For those still celebrating the pagan holiday of Christmas (as it is not in the Bible), this would be a perfect replacement for the gift-giving. While we might celebrate Yeshua’s birth during Sukkot (not necessary though, since there is no mention of celebrating one’s birth in Scripture), we give gifts to one another during Purim in celebration of Life and Salvation––Yeshua being both our Life and Salvation. Purim is most definitely a celebration of Yeshua!

• Our focus should be on Yeshua during these two days of celebration, Who is our Salvation and Life. There should also be a special meal on both these days of celebration, as these are days of feasting (Esther 9:19).

• It would also be good to read the whole book of Esther.

This day should also be about repentance, and then a joyous celebration of the goodness and mercy of God. Purim is two days long, so create some traditions that include Yeshua in your celebrations. This is not an Appointed Season of God, so there can be a little flexibility as long as we include Yeshua.












A Menu for Purim

These two days are to be days of feasting, and we are free to make our own traditions concerning these festivities, so feel free to make anything you want––celebrate Life in Messiah! Today this whole holiday has been transformed into putting the focus on Haman rather than on God. The recipe below is for cookies, supposedly in the shape of Haman’s hat. But since these two days are all about the Deliverance of Israel, I suggest trying a new shape. You really can get quite creative with these cookies, even using the same shape. They can be made of shortbread, chocolate chip or any kind of dough you want (even Red Velvet, the color of Yeshua’s Blood). You can even fold your favorite cookie inside the little circle that makes the triangle shape (just look up star of David hamantaschen cookies online––there are tons of unique ideas and pictures).


Hamantaschen

Traditional Filling

3/4 cup ground pecans

1/4 cup sugar

2 T. maple syrup

1 egg white (Jams can be used in place of pecans & syrup mixture)


Dough

7oz. cold butter cut into small pieces

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

3.5oz. powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 to 1/3 c. milk


Mix together filling ingredients, set aside. Place all dough ingredients (except milk) in food processor, and pulse until crumbs form. Add 1/4 cup milk and pulse just until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1-2 hours.


Roll dough on parchment paper to approximately 1/10 inch thick. Cut out 3 inch circles (can use cookie cutter) and place a tsp. of filling mix in center of each circle. Fold edges up to form triangles (see photo). Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 ̊ for 15-20 minutes, until lightly brown around the edges.


By celebrating Yeshua’s birthday and His awaited return during Tabernacles, as well as celebrating Purim instead of Christmas, and of course, celebrating all the Appointed Seasons of God, you will have officially separated yourself from the rest of the world and will look different than the rest of the world. It is this looking different that will attract people to Yeshua - and God will bless you for it.



OR



Chocolate Chip Stuffed Chocolate Hamantaschen
yield: 30-60 cookies, depending on size of biscuit cutter used



INGREDIENTS
for the chocolate hamantaschen dough
1 egg
1 egg white
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons almond milk
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1¾ teaspoons baking powder
for the chocolate chip cookie dough
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup earth balance (or butter), at room temperature
¼ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup chocolate chips



INSTRUCTIONS
First, make the chocolate hamantaschen dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg, egg white, and sugar on medium speed until combined. add the oil and almond milk and beat until smooth.


In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. with the mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until everything is just combined.

Form the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. let it chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate chip cookie dough in a small bowl, combine the flour and baking soda.
Again in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the earth balance and both sugars on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. add the salt, vanilla, and egg, and beat until combined. with the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined. stir in the chocolate chips.

Then, assemble the hamantaschen.

Preheat the oven to 350ºf and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Take about a quarter of the hamantaschen dough and roll it out between two pieces of wax paper to about ¼-inch thickness. use some sort of circular item (a biscuit cutter, a round cookie cutter, a glass) to cut circles out of the dough. top each circle with about a teaspoon of chocolate chip cookie dough.

For each circle, fold up the sides into a triangular shape, and pinch the corners together tightly.

Repeat this with the rest of the two doughs, re-rolling the scraps of hamantaschen dough as needed.

Bake the hamantaschen on the prepared baking sheet for about 10 minutes, until they are just starting to darken at the corners. the chocolate chip cookie dough should still be a bit soft. let the hamantaschen cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.


NOTES
Used a 2-inch round biscuit cutter to cut your hamantaschen, and you will wind up with about 60 cookies. If you want your cookies to be larger, just use a larger biscuit cutter, plus you might want to double the recipe for the same yield.


Purim

Updated March 4, 2019

At-a-glance Chart

(See complete Detail below Chart)

Purim 2019

Adar II 14 & 15, 5989

(March 21 & 22, 2019)