Tomorrow, Spy Wednesday, we read or sing the whole Passion according to Luke. Mass can get a little long, even on the weekdays of Holy Week.
This year our Wednesday of Holy Week, 23 March, coincides with the beginning of the Jewish holiday Purim, which celebrates how God, through Esther and her adoptive father Mordechai, saved the lives of the Jewish people from the hateful Hamman and the King during the Persian captivity.
One of the customs of Purim is to read or sing the whole scroll of the Book of Esther, which is called “the whole megillah (megillat – scroll)”. There are several “megillah books”, but Esther is probably the most associated with the word. During the singing of the whole megillah, when the name of the evil Hamman is pronounced, the people often shout and make noise with noisemakers to blot out his name, a kind of damnatio memoriae. There are some interesting Youtube videos of the singing of Esther that have this blotting out of “Hamman”. For example, HERE, at synagogue in Tampa, they really get into it. Check out about 1:30.
By the way, don’t be puzzled by the seemingly cheerful raucous music that introduce some of these Megillah Esther videos. Purim is a time of serious partying. There is a lot of dressing up in costumes and feasting.
Here is a singing of Esther from the Synagogue in Rome (Hebrew with an Italian accent). Chapter 3 starts at 12:35 or so and right after is a mention of the hated Hamman.