Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Hitchapsut

Dressing up on Purim

    Dressing up in costumes and masks is one of the best known Purim practices. In the days leading up the holiday, the streets of Jerusalem fill with children attired as Queen Esther, long-sidelocked Chasidim, IDF generals and Justin Bieber. Interestingly the custom is relatively recent. It is thought that dressing up on Purim originated among Italian Jews of the 15th century. The first mention of the practice in halachic writings appears to be in the responsa of Judah Ben Eliezer Halevi, a prominent Venetian rabbi of that time.

    Profound theological explanations for dressing up on Purim have developed. The main line focuses on hiddenness as a leading theme of the holiday. God is hidden in Megillat Esther. His name does not appear but God's guiding hand directs the narrative. The Jews of Shushan, and Esther in particular, hid their identity and were forced to reveal themselves. Hitchapsut, the Hebrew for dressing up, means to look for oneself. In searching for what is hidden we find our authenticity.

Jewish ways

Not sleeping on Rosh Hashanah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Not sleeping on Rosh Hashanah
Jewish ways

Censoring Aleinu

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Censoring Aleinu
Jewish ways

Veggie cheeseburgers

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Veggie cheeseburgers
Jewish ways

Reading the ketubah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Friday, September 4, 2015

Reading the ketubah
Jewish ways

Reciting psalm 27 in Ellul

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Reciting psalm 27 in Ellul
Jewish ways

Havdalah before Tishah B'av

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Havdalah before Tishah B'av
Jewish ways

Thirteen Attributes

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thirteen Attributes
Jewish ways

Dedicating a new home

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Dedicating a new home
Jewish ways

Spilling wine at Havdalah

Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Spilling wine at Havdalah