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Purim Memories & The Story of Esther!

By , March 10, 2020 12:07 pm

During my early childhood (early 50’s) in N.E. Philadelphia, I listened to Gladys Gewirtz singing all the songs from the Jewish holidays and holy days on our big RCA-Victor S-1000.






My grandma Nessie’s hamantashen were so yummy I couldn’t stop eating them.  Sadly, she passed away when I was 7 [Z”L].  Many years went by. Now I’m 73 and I work with thousands of recordings (Jewish, Jazz & Classical) at the RSA, but Gladys Gewirtz will always have a special place I my memory.  I still miss my Grandma!





Ben Roth

P.S. Prune Hamantashen are my favorites.


Purim – The Story of Esther

Esther (née Hadassah), an orphan raised by her uncle Mordechai, was taken against her will to Persian King Ahasuerus’s harem. There, she was forced to prepare herself for her first night with the King by spending six months doused in oil of myrrh and another six in sweet odors ointments. The night of their union, Ahasuerus loved Esther “above all women” and made her the Persian Empire’s Queen. Esther replaced Queen Vashti, who had been sentenced to death because she had refused to display her beauty to the attendants of the King’s feast.

When events took a turn for the worst and Esther learned that Prime Minister Haman planned to kill all Jews in the Persian empire she decided to act immediately to prevent the genocide. She told her uncle: “Go, gather all the Jews together and fast for me.  Neither eat nor drink for three whole days. ” Mordecai argued that these three days fast happened to include the Passover night, which should not be a night of fasting. Esther retorted, “Without Jews, who needs Passover?”

She invited both Ahasuerus and Haman to a private banquet. At that banquet Esther told the king of Haman’s plan to massacre all Jews in his kingdom, then acknowledged her own Jewish ethnicity. The information about Haman enraged King Ahasuerus and he gave an order that Haman be hanged.   He also elevated Mordecai to prime minister and gave Jews the right to defend themselves against any enemy.

Looking for music to celebrate Purim, discover over 20 vintage albums to choose from here at the Recorded Sound Archives!


Celebrate Purim with Music from the Jewish Education Committee of New York

By , March 1, 2018 6:19 pm

Songs for Tu Bishvat and PurimLooking for music to enjoy with family and friends this Purim? Here at the Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries, we would like to highlight the voices of William Wolff and Joan Mey one of several artists available in the Purim Collection off the album, Songs for Tu Bishvat and Purim.

This album was produced by the Jewish Education Committee of New York, in 1965 and was compiled by Harry Coopersmith to help engage youngsters in the customs and traditions of the Jewish religion. These recordings reflect a time in American history when Conservative Jewish educators sought to spirtually bind Jews together through song.

To listen to this album, click here.

To view other recordings by the Jewish Education Committee of New York, click here.


Discover over 20 other recordings for you to enjoy with family and friends in the Purim Collection.



Interested in past posts related to Purim, click here.

Celebrate Purim with music from the Recorded Sound Archives!

By , March 18, 2016 4:36 pm

Purim 2016PURIM, which, in English, means [drawing] LOTS, is about the book of Esther which is also known in Hebrew as Megillah (the Scroll).  It is a book in the third section of Ketuvim (Writings) of the Jewish Tanakh (Hebrew Bible).  It relates to the story of a Hebrew girl in Persia, born as Hadassah but known as Esther (niece of Mordechai), who becomes Queen of Persia and thwarts the genocide of her people by the wicked Haman, a high official in the court of King Achashverosh.

Haman sought to annihilate all the Jews, Mordechai’s people, throughout King Achashverosh’s’ entire kingdom.  For Haman plotted against the Jews to destroy them, and he cast a “pur”, which is a LOT, to shatter and destroy them. For this reason, they call these days “Purim,” after the pur.

The story forms the core of the Jewish festival of Purim, during which it is read aloud twice: once in the evening and again the following morning. A Purim party often takes place during this time where children dress up in costumes usually relevant to the story of Purim. It’s a fun time for everyone including adults!

Here at the Recorded Sound Archives, we have put together a collection of over 20 recordings for you to enjoy with family and friends this Purim.


Why love Purim?

By , March 14, 2011 10:11 am

Children love Purim. And so do adults. It just might be the most fun holiday in the whole Jewish calendar!

Here are just some of the reasons why Purim is a holiday favorite.

The Story: Who doesn’t love a good story? The story of Queen Esther’s bravery has drama, plot twists, and the thrill of good winning over evil.

Costumes: What child (or even a grown-up) doesn’t enjoy dressing in costume? This Jewish version of a costume holiday (like Halloween or Mardi Gras) is filled with a variety of colorful characters.

Entertainment: Purim is the time for children and adults to put on plays, talent shows and parades celebrating the story of Queen Esther.

Noise: Children love to make noise. Usually this gets them in trouble. But… on Purim children are encouraged to make as much noise as they can whenever they hear Haman’s name.

Food: Most Jewish holidays are celebrated with special foods and Purim is no exception. Hamantashen, everyone’s favorite Purim cookie, is a delicious way to remember the downfall of Haman.

Music: The songs of Purim often teach children about the holiday. tell the story of Purim, and give thanks.

Click on the albums and songs listed below to hear some of your favorite Purim music.

Purim Festival in Town Hall by Sidor Belarsky

Purim Party by Shimon & ilana Gewirtz

Songs for Tu Bishvat and Purim by Cantor William Wolfe

Akh Ze haYom Kiviti – Fate Onore Del Bel Purim Wal Viva Nostro Burino – Alabemos by Ramon Tasat

Ani Purim by Cantor Benjamin Maissner

Ani Purim by Judy Caplan Ginsberg

Chag Purim by Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray

Haynt Iz Purim by Marsha Benya

Lo Kol Yom Purim by Fran Avni

Purim by Ohel Moshe Children’s Chorus

Purim Lid by Marsha Benya

Purim By Der Seeda by Kandel’s Klezmer Orchestra

Purim iz der bester Yom Tov by Pesach Burstein

Purim Lied by Werdyger Children’s Chorus

The Purim Parade by Safam

A Gut Yontev Yidn by Lori Cahan-Simon

Wecome Purim Fun by Seymour Silbermintz

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