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  KD MAGAZINE!         ב"ה              
 
 
  PURIM  
 
By Rabbi Yonassan Biggs

 פורים   PURIM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

B”H

 

Purim!

 

  Shalom and Bracha!

 

  Monday, March 9th, is the fast of Esther. It commemorates the fast that Esther decreed to annul Haman’s wicked decree. It is customary to give three half dollars to charity on the fast of Esther. This parallels the half Shekalim which were given in the month of Adar and annuls the Shekalim Haman wanted use to bribe the king to annihilate the Jewish people. The fast begins at daybreak and continues until nightfall. In New York, the fast ends 7:22 p.m.

 

  Monday night and Tuesday March tenth 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. The first is listening to the Megillah. The Megillah is read Monday night and again Tuesday morning. 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 Amalek’s name. A significant paret 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. This is particularly significant in a Hakhel year.

 

  The second is Mishloach Manot, sending gifts of food. A minimum of two kinds of 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 share not only 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. In the same vein, 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 L’chayim 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. Particularly this year being a Hakhel year, the more people we include amplifies the Mitzvah and the blessings that accompany the Mitzvah.

 

  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.

 

  L’chayim and Purim Sameach!!

 

Rabbi Biggs

 

Rabbi Yonassan Biggs is from Chabad of Great Neck, NY. His website is: http://www.chabadgn.com/

 
   
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