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  JEWISH AND KOSHER UNITED STATES       
 
 
  KD MAGAZINE!                      ב"ה     
 

B"H

   

  Shalom and Bracha!

  Wednesday night and Thursday are Purim. Purim is the celebration of the salvation of the Jewish people from annihilation through the efforts of Mordechai and Esther. Purim has four major Mitzvot. Inclusiveness is integral to all of them. Haman slandered the Jewish people as being a divided people. By including as many fellow Jews as possible in the observance of Purim, we negate his slander.

  The first Mitzvah of Purim is listening to the Megillah. The Megillah is read Wednesday night and again Thursday during the day. Although we must hear each word of the Megillah, it is customary to make noise whenever Haman the wicked or Haman the son of Hamdata is said. This is to fulfill the Mitzvah of erasing Amalekís name. A significant part of the Megillah reading is Pirsumei Nissa, publicizing the miracle. Before approaching the king to save the Jewish people, Esther asked Mordechai to gather the Jewish people. It is therefore desirable to have as many people as possible attend the reading.

  The second is Mishloach Manot, sending gifts of food. A minimum of two kinds of kosher food or drink must be sent to a friend on Purim. The custom is to give more than two kinds to many people and that men send to men and women send to women. By including among the recipients Jewish people who are unaccustomed to the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot, we not only share joy but also the beauty of our heritage.

  The third is Matanot Laevyonim, giving charity to at least two poor people on the day of Purim. Giving money to many poor people is a greater Mitzvah than send food to many friends. Gifts to the poor can be sent through emissaries. In the spirit of inclusion, it is a great Mitzvah to encourage others to participate in Matanot Laevyonim.

  The fourth is to eat a festive meal on the day of Purim. It is customary to say Líchayim at this meal. There is a special addition to the Grace after meals on Purim. The true joy of the festive meal is when we invite guests and share the joy with others.

  One of the greatest lessons of the Megillah can be learned from Mordechai. Haman was enraged that Mordechai would not kneel and bow down to him. This led to Hamanís downfall and the rise of Mordechai. We must always be proud of our Judaism, unabashed by our denigrators. Purim teaches us that the survival of the Jewish people is fully in the hands of Hashem. When we place our faith fully in Him, even our darkest hour can be transformed into our greatest joy.

  In this month when mourning was replaced by festivity, may the pain of the last moments of exile be replaced by the joy of redemption.

  Líchayim and Purim Sameach!!

Rabbi Biggs

There is a great Purim Website at http://www.chabadgn.com/holidays/purim

that includes Purim celebrations and resources world wide.

B"H

Ki Tisa-Making an Eternal Difference

NY City Candle lighting 5:38

Shabbat  ends 6:38

  Shalom and Bracha!

  This Shabbat we read the portion of Ki Tisa. Amongst the things which are discussed in this weekís portion is the commandment to make the Kiyor, the washing basin. Hashem commanded that a washing basin of copper be made and placed in between the altar and the tent of the Ark. The Kohen had to wash his hands and feet from the basin before serving in the Temple. This was so critical that if a Kohen served before washing, whatever service he performed was invalid and he deserved to die by the Hand of G-d.

  The copper that was used for this washing basin came from mirrors that were donated by the Jewish women. At first, Moshe refused to accept them, because mirrors are objects of vanity. Hashem told Moshe to accept them, and further told him that these were the most precious of all of the donations to the Temple. During the worst period of the servitude, when the Jewish men were exhausted and despondent and had no interest in procreation, these mirrors were used by their wives in order to beautify themselves and arouse their husbands, assuring the continuation of the Jewish nation.

  This gives us a beautiful lesson that relates to our time. We know that our service of Hashem in the time of Galut (exile) is imperfect, marred by distraction and insincerity. Often we fall short of our own goals, and far short of Hashemís expectations. When we reflect upon the greatness that will permeate the world when Moshiach comes, we sometimes feel that all that we do in exile will be totally insignificant. The Kiyor teaches us that the opposite is true. Even the mundane objects that we use to survive Galut and hasten the redemption become an integral part of Hashemís sanctuary in the time of Moshiach. 

  The numerical value of the letters of the word Kiyor represent revealing Hashem in the Galut. Every Hebrew letter has a numerical value. Kiyor has 4 letters: Kaf (20) Yud (10) Vav (6) and Reish (200). The Kaf and Vav add up to 26, which is the numerical value of the name of Hashem. The Reish and Yud add up to 210, which is the number of years we were enslaved in Egypt. The letters are intertwined, symbolizing infusion Hashem into the exile.

  From the Kiyor we also learn a Halachah relevant to our times. Our prayers parallel the service in the Temple. Just like the Kohanim had a special way to wash, every morning when we rise we must wash our hands, using a vessel. The vessel should be filled with water, lifted with the right hand and transferred to the left hand, and then water should be poured over the entire right hand until the wrist. Then the vessel should be transferred to the right hand and water should be poured of the entire left hand. This should be repeated three times, so that each hand should be washed three times alternately (right, left, right, left, right, left). Kaballah and Chassidut explain that the right side represents kindness and the left severity. By repeatedly washing the right hand first, will elicit that Hashemís kindness should preceed and outweigh His stern judgement. Left handed people do the reverse. Thereafter the blessing

Baruch Atta A-donai E-lohainu Melech Haolam Asher Kidíshanu Bímitzvotav Vítzivanu Al Netilat Yadayim should be said. By washing this way, we cleanse ourselves from impurity, we celebrate that Hashem has renewed our life, and we commemorate the service in the Temple, thereby awakening and demonstrating our yearning for Moshiach. May we speedily see Moshiach and the Kohanim performing their service in the Holy Temple.

  Shabbat Shalom,

  Rabbi Biggs

A project of Chabad of Great Neck

400 East Shore Rd.

Great Neck NY 11024

516 4874554       fax 516 4874807


 
   
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