A photograph of a Purim plate that was designed in Bamberg, Germany in the nineteenth century.
The plate is made of metal and is decorated with engravings. In the centre is a picture of a king, presumably King Ahasuerus from the story of Purim. To his left is another character with a crown, probably Queen Esther, and to the right a figure holding a parasol who is probably a servant.
Around the picture is an apparent misquotation from Megillat Esther:
"ויבוא המלכה על המלך, ויאמר לה, מה לך אסתר"
Translation: "The Queen came to the King, and he said to her, 'What is your wish, Esther?'"
This plate was intended for mishloach manot (or shalach manos). According to Megillat Esther, at Purim Jews should send gifts consisting of two different types of foods to friends and family. In some European communities, such as Germany, it was customary to give these mishloach manot on plates decorated with motifs from the festival.
In lessons before Purim, teachers of Jewish Studies could show this image when discussing the different traditions of the festival. Art teachers could also use this plate as an example of Jewish art and have the students create Purim plates of their own.
What is the decoration on this plate? What story does it remind you of?
Around the engraved picture is an incorrect quotation from the Book of Esther. What is the correct quotation, and what does it mean?
What is the purpose of this plate?
This plate is intended for mishloach manot. Do you and your family give or receive mishloach manot?
Do you use a special plate or utensil? If so, describe it.
What do you put on it?
Create a Purim plate of your own. Decorate it with motifs from the story of Purim or traditions of the festival.