Purim holiday to be explored in rabbi's lectureThe nearly...

RELIGION NOTES

February 25, 1993

Purim holiday to be explored in rabbi's lecture

The nearly 3,000-year-old Persian origins of the Jewish holiday Purim and the relevance of its customs for modern Jews will be tTC discussed by Rabbi Shlomo Porter at 8 p.m. Monday at the Etz Chaim Center for Jewish Studies, 3702 Fords Lane.

And at the same time on Tuesday, also at the Etz Chaim Center, Rabbi Moshe Eisemann of Ner Israel Rabbinical College will teach a class on the ancient theological lessons of Purim.

A spirited holiday that incorporates carnivals, parties with special food, costume plays and dances, Purim falls this year on March 7.

The holiday derives its name from the dice, called purim in Hebrew, that were cast by an evil prime minister named Haman to determine the day on which Jewish people would be massacred. When the day came, however, the Jews were prepared for battle because of the intervention of Queen Esther, and the holiday celebrates their victory.

On the eve of Purim, it is traditional for the Book of Esther to be read in the synagogue, and at every mention of Haman's name, children stamp, clap and make noise in other ways. Thus, his name and the memory of his wickedness are symbolically blotted out. The next morning, with prayers of thanksgiving, Jews express their gratitude for the defeat of Haman.

For more information about these and other Etz Chaim classes: 764-1553.

Bon Secours:

Betty Norman, an associate member of the Sisters of Bon Secours since 1983, has been appointed to the board of directors of the religious order's Washington Village Community Medical Center in West Baltimore, which provides care to the elderly.

Since 1980, associate Bon Secours membership has allowed lay men and women to participate in the work of the congregation of nuns by contributing special skills and training. Ms. Norman is a registered nurse with degrees from the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore. For information about how to become a Bon Secours associate, call Kathy Davis, director of associate membership, 442-2115.

Black history:

To celebrate Black History Month, benefit the building fund of Shiloh Christian Community Church and promote youth educational activities of the Delta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the church at 2500 W. Lombard St. will present an organ concert by its minister of music, William H. Sydnor, at 5 p.m. Sunday.

A reception at the church will follow the concert, which is free to the public, but free-will contributions to the building fund and the fraternity's educational committee will be welcome.

Mr. Sydnor's recital will include the classics, hymn arrangements, spirituals and theater and gospel music.

Information: 945-8730.

Also celebrating Black History Month is First Philadelphia Baptist Church at 2120 Greenmount Ave., which is sponsoring a prayer breakfast and seminar at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Holiday Inn, 6510 Frankford Ave.

Bishop Elijah B. McDaniel is pastor. The Rev. Lucy M. Washington is assistant pastor. Ticket information: 876-6875 or 243-5625.

Prayers and leadership:

"Finding the Right Prescription" will be the subject of a talk by Jack Eckerd, Florida civic leader and founder of the drugstore chain that bears his name, at the 11th annual Greater Baltimore Leadership Prayer Breakfast at 7:15 a.m. March 4 at Martin's West, 6817 Dogwood Road.

The breakfast is sponsored by the Christian Business Men's Committee. For ticket information and reservations: 661-5665.

Bishop to speak:

Bishop H. Hartford Brookins of the Second Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church will be the guest preacher at the 11 a.m. Men's Day service Sunday at Bethel A.M.E. Church, Agnes and New streets in Church Hill, Queen Anne's County.

At 3:30 that afternoon, the Rev. Franklin J. West, pastor of St. James A.M.E. Church in Havre de Grace, will speak. The day's theme is "Good men are God's Men."

The Rev. Joan L. Wharton is Bethel's pastor. Information: (410) 323-2059.

Friday evenings:

Every Friday at 8 p.m., Trinity Assembly of God, 2122 W. Joppa Road in Lutherville, opens its doors for the Young Adult Alternative program, a special ministry to men and women in their 20s and 30s. Information: Mark Lego, 821-6573.

Send religious news items -- about events, local personalities, etc., from Baltimore City and Baltimore and Harford counties -- to Religion Notes, c/o Frank Somerville, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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