In The Purim Spirit

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Lake Success Jewish Center celebrated Purim, a joyous holiday that commemorates the saving of the Jews from a threatened massacre by Haman. The story is recounted in the Book of Esther, whose eponymous heroine played the leading role in saving her people.

The centerpiece of the celebration is the reading of the Scroll of Esther, the Megillah, in synagogue. During this boisterous event, the congregation makes noise every time Haman is mentioned, so no one can hear the name of this horrible evildoer. Another tradition is the Purim shpiel, a comic dramatization of the Book of Esther.

Purim has often been called a Jewish carnival, and dressing in costume is encouraged to engage in activities that would be somewhat more restricted at other times of the year.

The holiday is traditionally celebrated by giving gifts to friends and the poor.

A favorite sweet activity includes baking—and eating—triangular filled pastries, called hamantaschen.

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Sheri ArbitalJacoby brings more than three decades of publishing experience at national magazines to her position as editor of the Great Neck Record. She also writes decorating, travel, food and green articles for Long Island Weekly and Anton Media Group's special sections.

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