LIBERTY - It was a day of celebrating a joyous Jewish holiday as congregations from Temple El Emeth in Liberty and Ohev Tzedek in Boardman came together to mark Purim.
The celebration Sunday at Temple El Emeth began with a service of the Megillah, when the story of Esther and Purim was read in the synagogue. That was followed by a dinner with food, musical entertainment and costumes of all kinds.
Purim, ''The Feast of Esther,'' is a day of merrymaking celebrating the the deliverance of the Jewish people in the ancient Persian Empire from a plot that had been formed to destroy them. The story the young Jewish woman who became queen and God's agent to work the rescue of her people is recorded in the Old Testament Book of Esther.
Children make a long line as they wait for Joe ‘‘Mr. Twister’’ Sullivan to shape balloons into hats and animals during a Purim celebration Sunday at Temple El Emeth in Liberty. The celebration also included food and music. Photo by Bob Coupland
Elyse Silverman, program director at Temple El Emeth, said the temple's sisterhood group made more than 600 hamantashen, a three-corned pastry, for the event and other celebrations this weekend. Flavors included cherry, chocolate, apricot and prune. There was also hot dogs, chips and salad bar.
''This is a fun night. Everyone could wear the costumes they wanted. It's a very joyous holiday,'' she said.
Rabbi Joseph P. Schonberger of Temple El Emeth said the celebration is about applying the lesson of the Book of Esther.
''This is a celebration of life and a reminder that we have life and we celebrate with each other as we build a better future by learning the lessons of the past,'' Schonberger said.
''The costumes are the different identities that we can have. It's not the facade that you wear but the person who you really are that matters,'' Schonberger said.
He said a message everyone can learn is having fun to make life better for one another with emphasis on what needs to be done to help each other.
''Learning from the past can help make the present and the future better,'' he said.