Story of Megilla


If we were to scroll back in time, we would be looking at a similar picture, a similar scene. Here are Jews gathering in synagogues on the holiday of Purim, each with their own Megillah or scroll, all reading about the story of Esther, a story of the miraculous survival of the Jews during the ancient Achaemenid Persian Empire. My ancestors in Syria in the early 1900s read this story just as I will in a week. The slight difference is I’m in Brooklyn and the year is 2019. However, the same words are being read in the same way. The story is written on parchment paper with a quill and rolled up into a scroll. Scribes have quite the task as well as those who read it with correct pronunciation, but tradition is so important that Jews keep on learning and passing it on. My father teaches us the ways of Aleppo, as his father and grandfather taught him. Specifically, my family places an extra emphasis on precision in reading and writing. We must always pronounce Hebrew words with the Sephardic Syrian pronunciation, or else. Just kidding, but we try to read as our ancestors did because we are proud of our heritage. In addition, my brothers have learned to be scribes. Precision and detail is key as one mistake can make the whole document forbidden. It makes sense why my soon-to-be surgeon brother can do it. My brothers are in the middle of writing Megillat Esther, which is so special. No matter where you are or where you come from (in my case Syria), religion and tradition bring you together and link past and future generations. 

Year: 1906

– Samantha Chabot

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more