The Whole Megilla

From: Pamela in Orlando, FL Dear Rabbi, Why is it necessary to read the whole Megilla year after year? Dear Pamela, Every year we read the whole Megilla, twice – Purim night and then again by day. Year after year, it’s the same old story, right? Well, almost right. According to the Jewish mystical tradition[…]

Incensed or Incense

From: Lauren in Manchester, England Dear Rabbi, Please share a “vort” (a word/idea of Torah) with me regarding Purim that I can share with my family at the Purim meal. Thanks in advance. Dear Lauren, Regarding Haman’s terrible decree, the Megilla states, “Letters were sent by the hand of the couriers to all the king’s[…]

Letters, Dates and Criminal Trials

From: Dr. M.W. in Slingerlands, NY Dear Rabbi, In the Book of Esther, why are certain letters in the names of Haman’s sons written smaller than the others and why are some letters in the text larger than the others? Dear Dr. M.W., In Megillat Esther, and elsewhere in the Torah, you find several places[…]


From: Jill in Long Island, NY Dear Rabbi, Why do we eat “hamantaschen” on Purim? Dear Jill, I’ve heard that the word is Yiddish and comes from the two words “mon” (poppy seed) and “tash” (pocket). Thus it would mean “a pocket of [dough filled with] poppy seed.” Perhaps the letter ‘heh’ at the beginning[…]