ADAR  - The twelfth month in the Jewish calendar which falls on either February or March. Purim occurs on the fourteenth day of Adar.

ADAR SHENI (Second Adar) - In a leap year, which occurs seven times in a cycle of nineteen years, a thirteenth month, known as Adar Sheni, is added. During leap years Purim is observed in Adar Sheni.

ADLOYADA - A word recently coined in Palestine to designate the Purim carnival that takes place in Tel Aviv. The name is derived from the talmudic saying, "One should drink 'ad d'lo yada' (till one knows not) the difference between 'Baruk Mordecai' (Blessed be Mordecai) and 'Arur Haman' (Cursed be Haman)."

AHASHUERUS - The king of Persia who plays an important role in the Book of Esther. He is usually identified as Xerxes 1 (485-465 B.C.E.).

AL HANISSIM (for the miracles) - A special prayer included in the Eighteen Benedictions and the Grace after Meals on Purim and Chanukah.

BOOK OF ESTHER - One of the twenty-four books of the Bible which narrates the events leading to the establishment of Purim.

ESTHER - The heroine of the Purim story, originally called Hadassah. (Myrtle)
GROGGER - Noisemaker used on Purim in the synagogue during the reading of the Megillah whenever the name of Haman is mentioned.

HAMAN - Minister of King Ahashuerus and villain of the Purim story.

HAMANTASH - A three cornered Purim pastry filled with poppyseed. It derives its name from a combination of the two German words - Mohn (poppyseed) and Tash (pocket). The original name Mohntash was later punned as Hamantash.

MAHAZIT HASHEKEL (a half shekel) - It is customary on Purim to give charity three half shekels.

MEGILLAH (Scroll) - Usually refers to Megillat Esther (Scroll of Esther) read on Purim during the evening and morning services.

MORDECAI The hero of the Purim story and the cousin of Esther.

PURIM (Lots)- The Feast of Lots or the Feast of Esther. The name of this minor historical festival is derived from the fact that Haman cast lots to discover the day most favorable to his plan for destroying the-Jews.

PURIMSPIELER (Purim Player) - Purim players or actors would go from house to house to dance, sing and produce episodes of the Book of Esther.

SEUDAH (Meal) - The joyous observance of Purim is culminated in a festive meal at the conclusion of the day.

SHABBAT ZAKOR (Sabbath of Remembrance) - The Sabbath before Purim when the portion of the Maftir that is read beqins with the words "Zakor.. Amelek" (Remember... Amelek). Haman is considered a descendant of Amelek.

SHALAH MANOT (sending of gifts) - The practice of sending gifts to friends and to the poor on Purim.

SHUSHAN - The capital of ancient Persia where the main events of the Book of Esther occurred.

SHUSHAN PURIM - The day following Purim, Adar the fifteenth. The holiday was celebrated on this day in Shushan as final triumph was achieved in city then.

TAANIT ESTHER (Fast of Esther) - A fast day which occurs on the day before Purim, Adar the thirteenth.

VASHTI - Queen of King Ahashueros, deposed for refusing to show herself to his guests.

ZERESH - The wife of Haman.