Hillel Smith

Purim Light Up Boxes

It's customary on Purim to give gifts of food to friends, called mishloach manot in Hebrew (or shalach manos in Yiddish). Every year I make new and crazy papercut mishloach manot packages for this ritual of edible gift giving. Last year’s cut-out relief boxes gave me an idea—what if the papercut was a secret, only to be revealed when the time is right?

At first glance, each box is just a regular icosahedron (math joke!), which I chose because it has a lot of triangles (think hamantaschen). Around the outside is inscribed verse 8:16 from Megillat Esther: לַיְּהוּדִים הָיְתָה אוֹרָה וְשִׂמְחָה וְשָׂשֹׂן וִיקָר — “The Jews had light and happiness, joy and honor.” (This verse also appears in the Havdallah prayer that ends Shabbat.) When it’s darkest, the boxes begin to glow. The boxes flash in bright colors and a “Happy Purim” message shines through, thanks to a hidden papercut and multi-colored blinking balloon lights. I hope these bring a little light to you in what can seem to be dark times. Spread the love! And happy Purim to all!

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