Several thousand people attended Purim festivities at the Moscow Jewish Community Center. Bedecked in costumes, the crowd heard the reading of the Scroll of Esther and mingled with Jewish community leaders, including Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar.

Young guests attended an on-site concert, while Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Avraham and Leah Berkowitz hosted a Purim party for the city’s English-speaking community.

“The most important lesson is that Jews experienced hardship when they were divided,” said Lazar.

“Today, we must remain united. This way, no Haman can divide us.”

As recorded in Esther, Haman was the aide to Persian King Achashverosh who sought to destroy the Jewish people. Purim marks the victory over that decree. …