NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Jews around the world are celebrating Purim, a joyous holiday that teaches lessons about strength and pride in your identity.
As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu explained, New Yorkers shouldn’t be surprised if they see lots of kids in colorful costumes.
In the Rapoport home in Boro Park, children are wearing costumes because Queen Esther, the heroine of the Purim story, had to disguise her Jewish identity to survive before revealing herself to save the Jewish people.
In celebration of the holiday, children go house to house collecting donations for charity.
“We collect a lot of money for the schools. It’s one of the four commandments of the day,” Shimon Rapoport explained.
Another commandment is listening to the ‘Book of Esther’ which tells the story of Purim, and many families bring gifts of food to friends.
When it comes to traditional dishes eaten on Purim such as stuffed cabbage or Kreplach, which are dumplings filled with meat or potatoes, the hidden part of the food has special significance.
“The good part is hidden and wrapped up. You have to know that in all of nature we don’t see God, but he’s hidden somewhere,” Yosef Rapoport said.
Many are heading to local bakeries for special treats like Purim challah and hamentaschen, a three cornered treat filled with everything from raspberry to rosemary chocolate.
“I could eat 100 apricot hamantaschen in one sitting,” Elly Berman, Strauss Bakery said.
Strauss Bakery only carries hamantaschen for the holiday and made nearly 100,000-lbs of the special treat, allowing Jews to follow the commandment of eating, drinking, and being merry.
Purim ends at Sundown, but many families will continue to celebrate through Friday.