Green, Green and More Green

March 17th is St. Patrick's Day which is the day for green clothes, green clovers, green clad leprechauns and even green beer.  March 21st is the first day of Spring, traditionally a time of new life; the grass, trees and plants start to turn green after a hard winter.  March 21st is also International Earth Day with the purpose of calling attention to issues concerning environmental preservation and energy, thus encouraging people to turn "green" in their thinking and in their lifestyles.

International Women's Day, on March 8, highlights the worldwide development of women's rights, as women in many countries do not enjoy lifestyles with basic freedoms.  It is also a time to recognize women who have contributed to strengthening world peace and security.

Speaking of women who have contributed to national peace and security, Purim, a Jewish holiday on March 4th, celebrates an early champion.  Esther, a young and beautiful Jewish woman lived in Persia during the Babylonian exile, and was part of the King of Persia's harem.  The King favored Esther over the rest of the women and made her Queen.  Mordecai, Esther's cousin, advised Esther not to tell the King that she was a Jew. One day, Haman, a top minister of the King, became upset when Mordecai would not bow down to him.  Haman went to the King and expressed his opinion about how the Jewish people made their own laws and did not follow the King's.  The King put the fate of the Jewish people in Haman's hands and Haman decided he was going to kill all of the Jews.  Mordecai had Esther go before the King to tell him about Haman's plan.  Esther risked her life because anyone who went before the King without being summoned could be put to death.  The King accepted Esther and she told him of Haman's plan.  The King had Haman hung and the Jewish people were spared. 

The sixth season of American Idol is well under way and the contestants are attempting to spare nothing as they compete for the top spot on the most viewed series in the United States.  On March 1st, two more men and women will be eliminated, bringing the competition to 8 men and 8 women.  It seems that even the so called "losers" strike it big. Jennifer Hudson from season three was heavily criticized by Simon Cowell, but is now the proud owner of an Oscar for best supporting actress in "Dreamgirls."

Helpful Resources for March:

Judaism 101: Purim - Contains the history, traditions and activities of Purim.

Crash Course in Jewish History: Purim of Persia - Learn about the characters and historical events surrounding Purim.

International Women's Day - Find events, purposes and news for International Women's Day.

History of Earth Day - Contains information about the founder of Earth Day and his original purpose for starting this event. St. Patrick's Day - Providing a historical look at the this holiday with videos and quizzes.