Slipping on a black tricorn hat, 7-year-old Daphne Greene grinned at her mom while they eyed costumes on Thursday at the West Side Judaica & Bookstore on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Daphne told her mom she should buy the penguin outfit hanging from the ceiling.
Described by some as the “Jewish Halloween,” Purim is a festive holiday where people dress up in elaborate costumes and don masks to celebrate the biblical story of Queen Esther rescuing the Jewish people from mass slaughter. But fear over the spread of the novel coronavirus has several synagogues in New York, D.C. and elsewhere canceling Purim carnivals and gatherings to minimize exposure. The holiday begins Monday night.