Purim plate and Mishloach Manot
Mishloach manot is one of the four Purim Mitzvot, easily remembered by the Hebrew letter mem מ that appears in all of the names: 1. Reading the Megillah (Book of Esther) - מגילה 2. Taking part in a seudat Purim or mishteh (a Purim feast) - משתה 3. Giving mishloach manot (Purim food gifts) - משלוח מנות 4. Giving tzedakah (matanot l’evyonim) - מתנות לאביונים
In pairs or small groups, look at the image of the Purim plate and consider when and for what purpose this item was used.
Look carefully at the picture for clues to help you work out what the object is used for. Hint: This is a picture of an object that is used to fulfill one of the Purim mitzvot.
Complete the worksheet to help you explore the object.
After everyone has had a chance to analyze the object in small groups, we will have a discussion about what we discovered.
- What is illustrated on the plate? What text appears on the plate?
- How were the illustrations made?
- What is unusual about the plate?
- What does the fact that there are mistakes in the Hebrew text tell us about the person who engraved the plate? (Note to educator: It may have been made by someone who wasn’t Jewish, but it is more likely that the person who engraved the plate was a Jew who knew the text but wasn't very knowledgeable about Hebrew grammar, and therefore wrote Esther's actions in the masculine form.)
- What do you think the plate was used for?
- What pictures would you put on a Purim plate?
- Do you like getting mishloach manot?
- Does a specially decorated package make the mishloach manot even more special?
Design your own Purim plates to use for mishloach manot on Purim. You can decorate the plate with motifs from the story of Purim or Purim traditions.