Purim commemorates the rescue of the Jews of ancient Persia from the murderous plot of Haman, the king’s advisor. The plot is foiled by Queen Esther, who reveals Haman’s treachery to King Ahasuerus (Xerxes), the moment dramatized by painter Jan Lievens in The Feast of Esther, also in the Museum’s collection. Purim is celebrated in the synagogue by the reading of the Book of Esther, traditionally inscribed on a parchment scroll and kept in an ornamented case.
tags: pattern, function, communication, meaning, ritual, survival, ceremony
Gift of Drs. Abram and Frances Pascher Kanof