Purim is a Jewish festival celebrated by the reading of the Scroll of Esther, known in Hebrew as the Megillat Esther, which relates the basic story of Purim. Under the rule of King Ahashuerus, Haman, the King's prime minister, plots to exterminate all of the Jews of Persia. His plan is foiled by Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai, who ultimately save the Jews of the land from destruction. The reading of the megillah is typically a rowdy affair, punctuated by booing and noise-making when Haman's name is read aloud.
PURIM AT CONGREGATION EMETH
Congregation Emeth's teens organize and run a carnival and barbecue lunch or dinner as a fundraiser. This is usually on a Friday evening, followed by a high energy "Friday Night Live" Shabbat service, sometimes with a klezmer band and always with a reading of the megillah and Purimspiel (hillarious reinactment of the story of Purim) by Emeth's teens. Most adults and children dress in costumes for the event and the oneg (sweet reception) after the Shabbat service always includes hamantashen, triangular-shaped filled pastries representing the hat of the king's evil advisor, Haman.