☞   //   Prayers & Praxes   //   🌔︎ Prayers for the Moon, Month, and Festival Calendar   //   Commemorative Festivals & Fasts   //   Purim

☞   Purim

This is an archive of prayers and song written for the festival of Purim.

Purim is named after the word pur in Megillat Esther, the method of divination by lot used to determine the proper date for the Jews under the dominion of the Persian empire (circa 5th century BCE) to be murdered en masse (Esther 3:7). The lot is cast on the 13th of Nisan for the 13th of Adar and the decree to destroy the Jews is relayed posthaste (Esther 3:12). (Significantly, the 13th of Nisan is the eve of Pesaḥ when, according to Leviticus 23:5-6, the slaughter and consumption of the paschal lamb is indicated — a very auspicious date indeed.) Hijinx ensue.

Click here to contribute a prayer you have written, translated, or transcribed for Purim.


Looking for something else?

For public readings selected for Purim, visit here.

For prayers and songs composed for Purim Qatan, visit here.

For public readings selected for a Purim Sheni, visit here.

For prayers composed for Taanit Esther, go here.

עד דלא ידע | Sources and Meditation Instructions for Not-knowing on Purim, by Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein (Applied Jewish Spirituality 2021)

Sources and meditation instructions excerpted from a larger source sheet on Not-knowing, Joy and Purim, from the Applied Jewish Spirituality “Kabbalah Through the Calendar” course. . . .

אֲשֶׁר הֵנִיא | Asher Heni, a piyyut recited after the reading of Megillat Esther and its concluding blessing

An alphabetical acrostic piyyut celebrating the victory of Esther and Mordekhai over the forces of Haman. . . .

מִי כָמֽוֹךָ וְאֵין כָּמֽוֹךָ | Mi Khamokha v’Ein Kamokha, a retelling of Megillat Esther in a piyyut for Shabbat Zakhor by Yehudah ben Shmuel haLevi (ca. 11th c.)

The poem Mi Khamokha v-Ein Khamokha, an epic retelling of the book of Esther in verse, was written for Shabbat Zakhor, the Shabbat before Purim, by the great paytan Yehuda ben Shmuel haLevi. It was originally written as a “geulah,” meant to be inserted into the prayer after the Shema in place of the verse beginning with “A new song…” But later Sephardic poskim ruled that it was forbidden to insert piyyutim into the Shema blessings, so in the communities that recite it today it is generally either read after the Full Kaddish as an introduction to the Torah service, or (for instance, in most Spanish and Portuguese communities) within the verse “Kol atzmotai tomarna” in the Nishmat prayer. Wherever you include it in your service, it’s a beautiful and intricately rhymed piyyut, and surprisingly easy to understand at that. It is presented here in a gender-neutral translation with all the Biblical verses cited, alongside a new translation that preserves the fourfold acrostic, two alphabetical and two authorial. –Isaac Gantwerk Mayer . . .

Prayer for the Feast of Purim, by Rabbi Moritz Mayer (1866)

A prayer for a woman celebrating Purim. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the U.S. Senate: Rabbi Seth H. Frisch on 27 February 2018

The Opening Prayer given in the U.S. Senate on 27 February 2018. . . .

אֵל שְׁמֹר הַמַּלְכָּה | God Save the Queen (Hebrew translation, ca. 1892)

“God Save the Queen” is an adaptation of “God Save the King,” a work by an unknown author, first circulated by periodicals in mid-18th century England. The author of the Hebrew translation is also unknown and was published in a pamphlet circulated by New Road (Whitechapel) Synagogue in 1892. We are grateful to the Jewish East End of Londonwebsite for providing the source image for the transcription of this work in the Public Domain. . . .

תהלים כ״ב בלשון לאדינו | Psalms 22 by David in Ladino (Estampado por Ǧ. Griffit, ca. 1852/3)

A Ladino translation of Psalms 22 first published in mid-19th century Izmir. . . .

Prayer of the Guest Chaplain of the Massachusetts State Senate: Rabbi Joseph Rudavsky on 24 March 1959

The opening prayer of the Massachusetts State Senate on 24 March 1959, added to the record of the U.S. House of Representatives. . . .