If you’re looking for Purim hats or costume ideas, you can’t go wrong with Pinterest. And if you’re planning a party, be sure to include Purim Song by the Maccabeats. Festivity, hats and costumes, gift baskets, the Megillah, and hamantaschen are what we think about when it’s time to celebrate Purim.

Haman and the Three-Cornered Hat

As if we needed an excuse to eat cookies? The story goes that Haman the Agagite wore a 3-cornered hat. So we celebrate his demise by eating his hat.

Research by renowned scholars into the tradition of hamantaschen for Purim, which goes back to the Middle Ages and for which the exact translation is “Haman’s pockets,” has never been explained. But the Swedes “have a suspiciously similar cookie, called Napoleon’s Hats or ‘Napoleonhattar,’ which are traditionally filled with almonds. That actually makes a certain degree of sense: Tri-cornered hats were popular in Napoleon’s time,” says Jewcy.

It’s a Mitzvah to Wear a Funny Hat

Author Lawrence Cohen says for his rabbi, wearing a funny hat to the reading of the Megillah is “…the supreme mitzvah. Visiting the sick, accompanying the dead, attending the bride, don’t even come close.” In fact, rabbis are so divided on the why-do-we-wear-the-hat topic that at one historical point they declared Teyku (“Let the decision be made by Moshiach when he comes.”).

Perhaps the ‘Hats’ are ‘Crowns’

Another theory reigns: The hats are supposed to represent the crown of King Ahasuerus, who decided to kill Haman rather than the Jews. His decision may have been self-serving: He wanted to keep his wife Esther around, but we remain happy he chose that option.

Celebrate Purim

If you have the real reason we wear funny hats to celebrate Purim, let us know! Meanwhile, we wish you and your family and friends Chag Purim Sameach! Wear a funny hat Thursday, March 1, 2018.  Another  Mitzvah for Purim is Matanot L’evyonim, which translates to  donations to the poor or charity.  You can donate to Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago by clicking here.

It’s a mitzvah.

You are following those who cared for you, taught you, loved you . . . The ones who left a legacy for you. Now, it’s your turn. Leaving a legacy is important! Think about the people who ensured a legacy for us:

  • Grandparents
  • Neighbors
  • Men and women who pursued better lives for us and future generations; politicians, scientists, explorers
  • Our founding fathers
  • Parents
  • Teachers, coaches

These are the people who have shaped the way you live today, and many of them may have left you both memories and legacies you won’t soon forget. Living a good life means taking what you have and making it what you want it to be.

Why Leaving a Legacy for the Future is Important

All of us are leaving legacies to those who follow; most of us have strived to live moral, healthy lives without harming others – and when possible, helped others. Here’s why we should remember that our legacies are important:

Leaving a legacy is an act of responsibility. Good men and women don’t simply leave behind good or bad memories (legacies) for others. They create their legacies by building a life founded upon caring enough about others to leave them a meaningful and positive legacy.

We are stewards of this world; we should leave it better than we found it.

We can curb our selfishness by thinking about the legacies we leave. Leaving money so that a hospital wing or art gallery bears your name is one thing. But when you donate that money in the true spirit of helping others, you’re helping yourself, too. Every day lived well, with a sense of purpose and a goal to help others increases your happiness and wellness.

Target Date: June 30, 2018

As you sit near your fireplace or snuggle on the couch with your favorite afghan and a cup of warm tea, you feel safe and protected against the winter winds, hunger, and fear of famine. But did you know Jewish families live in poverty, close to your home? With your help, Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago has established a tradition of charity to our people in need for over 100 years. And now, if we raise enough new donations before June 30, 2018, Maot Chitim will receive an additional $10,000 through an incentive grant! When you join the Maot Chitim Legacy Society, your gift will sustain Chicago-area Jewish families in need for many years. Your bequest can be included in:

  • Cash or assets
  • Charitable gift annuity
  • Charitable remainder trust
  • IRA or pension funds
  • Life insurance
  • Your will

Call 847.674.3224 or contact Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago today to help us meet the requirements of this incentive grant.

There are certain things we can only do together. -Barack Obama