The dramatic Purim story takes place in Shushan, the capital city of ancient Persia and Media. While historians disagree over exactly where this city is today, Iran’s Jewish population is certain that it’s the modern city of Hamadan, Iran.

There is a tradition among Iranian Jews to make a yearly pilgrimage to Hamadan and pray at what is believed to be the tomb of Mordechai and Esther each Purim.

Iran has been home to exiled Jews for over 3,000 thousands years, well before the Purim story took place, and Hamadan sure sounds a lot like the name of Purim’s chief antagonist, Haman–so they may be on to something!

Could Hamadan really be Shushan?

Inside Esther’s tomb

The city of Hamadan, in Iran, is believed to be the city of Shushan, where the story of Purim takes place. Today, Iran is still home to a Jewish community, the largest in the Middle East outside of Israel. During Purim, Iranian Jews make a pilgrimage to Hamadan to visit what they believe is the tomb of Queen Esther and Mordechai. The tomb, little-known to people outside Iran, is a site cherished by Iran’s Jewish community. Get inside, watch the video. Photos by Studiolum / More: http://bit.ly/2sZxdn7

Posted by World Jewish Congress on Monday, February 26, 2018