Three of Santa Clarita’s synagogues brought the third annual Purim carnival to William S. Hart Regional Park for celebration and fun on Sunday.
“All three synagogues are getting together for fun and excitement,” said Rabbi Choni Marozov from SCV Chabad. “In order for us to truly be strong, we have to be united.”
Members of Congregation Beth Shalom, Temple Beth Ami and Chabad of SCV joined together to play on inflatable slides, took part in activities and played games, while children ran around dressed like various characters, like Harry Potter and Captain America.
Purim looks back on the unity of the Jewish people under Mordecai, who fought off a plot by the Persian vizier Haman, according to the biblical Book of Esther.
“It is the classic story of good and evil,” said Rabbi Ron Hauss of Congregation Beth Shalom. “It’s like a ‘Star Wars,’ it is like ‘Harry Potter.’ The villain is Haman.”
The synagogues will then hold services on Purim, on March 20, where the Book of Esther is read, gifts and food are given to friends, neighbors and the poor. The celebration concludes with a feast, Hauss said.
“Unlike any other Jewish holiday, where we celebrate a pretty amazing miracle, like the splitting of the sea and the menorah being lit for eight days, there is no supernatural miracle in the story of Purim,” Mazarov said. “Everything happened in a natural way.”
After going to Congregation Beth Shalom, Abby Savell and her husband brought their three children with them to Purim. While her children did not dress up, they were still enthusiastic to participate.
“I think they have a lot of cool things for the kids to do here, between the ball games and the obstacle course,” she said. “My 11-year-old jumped at the chance to go on the obstacle course. He wouldn’t eat lunch.”
While the aim of Purim is to celebrate and have fun, Hauss said the story remains relevant for everyone avoiding hatred and persecution, and he referenced the recent shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“Every society today that says there is a people that’s not like us, that doesn’t belong, it’s a repetition of the Purim story,” Hauss said. “The Purim story isn’t an ancient story, it’s a story about our world today, and those who speak for tolerance, those who speak for the values that unite us all as people, Rabbi Marozov refers to the synagogue, this is a universal struggle.”