Corporal Herbert Blum, a Jewish soldier, sent this Purim postcard (issued by the Jewish Welfare Board) home to his parents in Jersey City. Blum worked for the Army Air Forces as a cryptographic technician during WWII. He served in Europe with the 327th Signal Company, 8th Air Force in 1944 and 1945.
We need to go back in history to understand this holiday, because Purim is a one day celebration of a historic event. The story is told in the Bible, but the Book of Esther doesn’t mention God, and it is not a religious holiday. The events having to do with Purim occurred about 430 BC.
Around 600 BC the Jewish nation was about done after some remarkable years under Kings David and Solomon. The Babylonians invaded in 586 BC, destroyed the first Temple, and deported most of the Jews to Mesopotamia.. It was the beginning of the worldwide Jewish Diaspora.
Then along came the Persians (from modern day Iran under Cyrus the Great —-about 540 BC. ) Many Jews returned to the land of Israel, but others remained scattered widely including those in Persia.
After Cyrus died, the king of Persia was Ahashverosh. His queen was Esther who was Jewish but who hid her real identity. When the king’s advisor Haman persuaded the king to allow him to exterminate the Jews, Esther persuaded the king to reverse that edict. She risked her life to do that.
So Purim is celebrated for one day each spring, usually in March. There are feasts, parades, costume parties and special triangular cakes called hamantashen which are eaten even now, and there are recipes to be Googled.There is a Jewish bakery in Deal (Nahum Challa. 268 Norwood Avenue, about 10 minutes from the Grove ) which should have some authentic ones still available. Other bakeries probably have it as well. Part of the diaspora has been doing well at the Jersey Shore for many years. (Ever hear of “Bagel Beach.” i.e. Bradley Beach)
Here is the Blogfinger article about Xerxes, King of Persia after the Purim events:
ELI LAUFER AND YECHIEL LICHTIGER with Purim music