Chaplain schools celebrate Purim
March 15, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- On March 8, Jews all over the world celebrated the feast of Purim, the most joyous holiday in the religious calendar.
In honor of Purim, a joint observance was held at the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Center. According to Jewish religious law, the entire text of the book of Esther has to be read from a handwritten parchment scroll. The Hebrew text was chanted by Air Force Chaplain (Capt.) Raphael Berdugo, and the ceremony was attended by several students and cadre of the Army, Air Force and Navy chaplain schools. The ceremony was followed by a Se'uda, a festive meal, complete with Hamantaschen, special triangular cookies shaped like turbans.
Purim celebrates the Jews' rescue from the plot of the nefarious and evil Haman, a high officer of the Persian Empire, and adviser to King Achashverosh, ruler of Persia. Haman plots the genocide of the Jews of Persia, but in what turns out to be an interesting twist, the Jews are saved by a non-miraculous miracle.
The Book of Esther, which tells the story of Purim, differs from other biblical writings in that it does not mention the name of God. The message of the Book of Esther is that God is present even when we cannot feel Him with us or see specific evidence of miracles.