It wasn’t that long ago that my partners and I were apprehended, imprisoned and reprimanded on the prejudiced, presumptuous, preposterous pretext that we jolted the proper protocol of the proud Pritish Empire! This prompted me to abandon my previous preoccupation, and to make Purim my priority.

Instead of joining an exasperated press probing into prominent people’s privacies, I would pursue celebrities like King Ahasuerus, Queen Esther and Vashti of Persia. I will serve a much greater purpose by getting a better picture, or portrait, of the megillah’s principal personalities. It gives me the opportunity to report on the grand procession of Mordechai, Haman, and his sons Parshandatha, Parmashta and Poratha, to name only three. Now, with the approach of Purim, I prefer to devote my expertise to promote the proper performance of the Purim procedures and its prerequisites.

Perhaps you are perplexed and perturbed why a prestigious publication such as this should make such a big production out of Purim, exaggerating it out of proportion to other projects or programs. Why must we twist ourselves into a pretzel with all this perennial Purim propaganda? I propose that this is precisely Purim’s Problem. If Purim is not paramount in your mind, it probably needs more and better PR.

Purim represents the promise of Jewish perseverance under pressure and persecution. Although it transpired in Persia approximately 2,300 years ago, Purim is not an ancient anachronism, but part and parcel of the present. As the Baal Shem Tov paraphrased the Talmud: “One who reads the megillah backwards has not fulfilled his obligation,” for Purim is as current and contemporary as today’s newspaper.

Purim is pervaded by divine providence, as the megillah is prefaced with the royal parties and profaning of the pure priestly vessels, the priceless perfumes, then progressing to Mordechai’s premonition of peril, and the evil oppression and persecution perpetrated by Persia’s prejudiced premier, Haman, may he and all his conspirators perish. Esther and the Jews prepare to preempt Haman’s evil plot, while Mordechai is promoted to prominence, protected by purple and imperial paraphernalia. Purim’s profound principles may appear to be compromised by the peripheral pranks, silly improvisos, superficial pretenses, parodies and parades. Yet paradoxically, scriptural interpretation compares Purim to Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year!

Purim pertains to each and every one of us. It speaks to every person of every profile and persuasion, from the lowest to the uppermost; from a protesting preppie to a presiding provost; from the poorest, perspiring paparazzi to the prim & proper president of Purdue U., or the paradigm of any other prosperous corporation.

Please permit me now to express my paranoia. If this prattling will continue to prevail, I may develop a permanent and perpetual purring like a cat, that will stray afar into perpendicular perspectives way beyond the parameters of this precious piece of PR. But without Purim, all these permutations are nothing but parenthetical presuppositions and superfluous superlatives that serve no purpose.

I will thus stop right now, and leave my impressive PR portfolio to the professionals. For a simple paparazzo like myself, this is enough, period. May the inspiration of Purim purimeate our whole year!

Rather than preach Purim principles in the abstract, we should be particular and specific, for proverbially, practice makes perfect. So here is a paragraph on Purim’s five important precepts:

1) The Megillah parchment is proclaimed on Purim day, and the preceding night.

2) We send our friends and peers, by proxy, a pair of provisions: hamantashen (poppy or prune), Perrier, Pringles, pirogen, pears, apricots, peppermint candy, or other appropriate food portions, whether or not they have that persistent PR pronunciation, as long as they are edible.

3) It is imperative that we open our purse, and provide to the deprived on Poorim. We should proffer a coin (a least a quarter) each, to two poor persons. It is your prerogative how much to give, but the more the merrier. If you can’t personally locate poor persons, participate by placing the proceeds into a pushka (charity can).

4) On Purim we partake of a party, and pour a l’chaim!

5) We say the appropriate prayers, express appreciation and sing G‑d’s praises.

Happy Purim!