From the Multifaith Chaplaincy: Purim

This Saturday night March 11, and Sunday, March 12, you might see princesses, clowns, kings and a variety of quirkier costumes parading the campus.

What's going on?

The answer: It is the holiday of Purim, a Jewish holiday celebrating religious freedom. Set in Persia in the 5th century BCE, the story of Purim tells of the sinister villain, Haman, who gains the confidence of Ahashverosh, the King of Persia, persuading him to issue a decree for the destruction of the Jews. The beautiful and brave Queen Esther saves the day with the help of her uncle Mordechai. Together they expose Haman's evil plan and thereby save the Jewish people. The story of Esther is filled with small, seemingly coincidental events, all of which link together in a miraculous manner.

Purim is the holiday of hidden miracles, but it is celebrated in ways which reveal the hidden, both in our own identities and in the world around us. It is customary to wear costumes on Purim to show that like the story of Esther, one must go beyond the surface to gain a true understanding. The hallmarks of Purim include a joyful retelling of the Purim story, sharing gifts of food with friends, giving funds to help the poor and enjoying a festive meal.

The celebration of Purim is also frequently marked by raucous revelry. With that in mind, for those of you celebrating Purim please: Celebrate. Be joyous. Be responsible.

There will be multiple readings of the Megillah (the Purim story) and celebrations throughout the weekend. Times and locations can be found at

In the spirit of the celebration of identity that is at the heart of this holiday, Shalem, our Jewish LGBTQ student group, along with Trisk, Hillel, and the ICC are hosting a costume dance party at Chums on Saturday, March 11th starting at 10pm. All are welcome!

The Multifaith Chaplaincy
Rev. Matt Carriker, Protestant Chaplain, 781-736-3573
Allison Cornelisse, Pastoral Associate for Catholic and Spiritual Life, 781-736-3574
Rabbi Charlie Schwartz, Interim Jewish Chaplain, 781-736-8416
Maryam Sharrieff, Interim Muslim Chaplain, 781-736-8742
Rabbi Liza Stern, Interim Jewish Chaplain, 781-736-3672