☞   //   Public Readings, Sources, and Cantillation   //   Festival & Fast Day Readings   //   Readings for Days in Jewish Calendars   //   Purim Readings

☞   Purim Readings

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 public reading you have selected for Purim.


Looking for something else?

For prayers and songs composed for Purim, visit here.

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

For public readings selected for Taanit Esther, go here.

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

From Darkness to Light: Purim 2021, by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat & Rabbi David Evan Markus (Bayit: Building Jewish, 2021)

Tropified texts for Purim 2021 juxtaposing the text of Queen Esther with the words of Vice President Kamalla Harris and poet laureate Amanda Gorman. . . .

Nevertheless She Persisted: A Modern Esther Tribute for Purim and Women’s History Month, by Rabbi David Evan Markus (2018)

Purim affirms Esther’s stand against official silencing, abuse of power, misogyny and anti-Semitism. At first an outsider, Queen Esther used her insider power to reveal and thwart official hatred that threatened Jewish life and safety. We celebrate one woman’s courageous cunning to right grievous wrongs within corrupt systems. The archetype of heroic woman standing against hatred continues to call out every society still wrestling with official misogyny, power abuses and silencing. For every official silencing and every threat to equality and freedom, may we all live the lesson of Esther and all who stand in her shoes: “Nevertheless, she persisted.” . . .

the past didn’t go anywhere: making resistance to antisemitism part of all of our movements, by April Rosenblum (2007)

It’s always a real struggle for the Left to successfully tackle oppression within its own ranks. But when we do it, our movements gain, every time, from the deeper understandings that emerge. To start the process this time, we need some basic information about what anti-Jewish oppression is and how to counter it. But it has to come from a perspective of justice for all people, not from opportunistic attempts to slander or censor social justice efforts that are gaining strength. . . .

סדר מגילת אסתר עם פסוקים שנאמרו על אסתר ומרדכי | Seder Megillat Esther (with verses to be said for Esther and Mordekhai)

Megillat Esther in Hebrew with an English translation, including verses for public recitation highlighted to spotlight the heroic acts of Esther and Mordekhai. . . .

פורים | Purim: Esther’s Global Leadership Proposal, by Dr. Bonna Devora Haberman

What are the inner workings of such an intricately crafted story that it devolves into so much gratuitous violence at the end? Haman’s racism follows imminently upon the heels of the king’s sexism. Indeed, the root of Haman’s wrath against Mordekhai and the Jews parallels the king’s fury against Vashti and the women. Both Vashti and Mordekhai refused to submit to degradation before authority. Disdain for and subordination of women are pre-conditions for the progression toward violent evils that threaten to prevail under the jester-king. One of the fundaments of feminism is that until we fix the basic gender dyad, there will be no resolution of other derivative inequalities, prejudices, and abuses—at personal, ethnic, national, and global levels. Core relationships between woman and man must embody mutual respect, dignity, and equality in our humanity. . . .

מגילת אסתר | Megillat Esther: Chantable English translation with trōp, by Len Fellman

A Megillah reading of Esther with English translation, transtropilized. . . .

An Adaptation of the Megillah of Esther, an English Rendition with Trōp, by Ḥazzan Jack Kessler (1990)

The Megillah of Esther: An Original English Rendition (set to trop) by Ḥazzan Jack Kessler was first published in 1990. This second “version 2.0” edition was published in 2016. . . .

התפילות של מרדכי ואסתר | the Prayers of Mordekhai and Esther, from Divrei haYamim l’Yeraḥmiel (ca. 11-12th c.)

The dream and prayer of Mordecai, and the prayer of Esther, as copied in the medieval pseudo-historical Chronicle of Yeraḥmiel. . . .

פורים | Learn the Kriyat Megillat Esther with Rabbi Hillel Yisraeli-Lavery

The following seven lessons by Rabbi Hillel Ḥayim Yisraeli-Lavery to help the student prepare for their reading of Megillat Esther. The nusaḥ taught is Israeli style Ashkenaz-Lithuanian. . . .