Not Your Neighbor's Halloween
By Sheri Bernstein
Once a year in the spring
Jews celebrate and sing
In costumes of disguise
A past victory over a wicked man's demise!
Haman was the evil man
With a crooked nose and a devilish plan:
"On Purim we will wipe out
Any and all Jews who roam about"
But Mordechai was most near
So Haman's awful plan he did hear
A brave man, he rallied the Jews
To fight Haman; to refuse to lose.
To his cousin Esther, he did beseech,
"to overthrow Haman is in your reach.
The King does love you, it is true
So just tell him you're a Jew.
He may cry, he may fuss
But really, you simply must."
Queen Esther did fear for her life
(as the King did kill his previous wife.)
"But what choice have I,
The time to save our people is nigh."
So to the King our Esther spoke
And informed him she was of Jewish folk,
"If your chief Haman has his way
Jews will not live to see another day."
"My beautiful Esther behold,
I will put that wicked Haman on the scaffold.
I declare Mordechai my new chief
May this war to defend Judaism be brief."
Each year we celebrate our success
With Hamentashen cookies meant to jest
These treats make fun of Haman's ears
From where he was hanged, while others gave cheers
Each year we dress up and pretend
Like our Queen Esther did for our Judaism to defend
We stomp and pounce
Whenever Haman's name is announced
We drink and read
From the Megillah do we heed
For it is vital to know
Our Judaism will never go
In Persia is this tale begun
And in modern times it is there with guns
For on Purim in 1991
The Gulf War ended under a Persian sun
So every year we must reenact
To remind us as Jews to act
For many people would love nothing more
Than to end our lives, to show us the door
And while Purim comes sans tricks-or-treats
Without broomsticks, or sorcerer's feats
Our day comes with its own form of sweet:
Remembering who we are and Haman's blessing defeat!
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For more on Purim, see our Purim Archives
from the February 2008 Edition of the Jewish Magazine