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Editorial: On Purim, a time to rejoice

FEBRUARY 22, 2018 – Purim, the holiday that details how a Jewish woman, Esther, saved an entire nation from death, will begin Wednesday night, February 28 and continue through Thursday, March 1.

During this time of great strife in America – where everyday seems to bring a new social, economic or world crisis – let us welcome a holiday that shows how important it is to take action in life. Each day many of us are faced with obstacles, and we can choose to ignore them or to find proper solutions. When Esther learned that Haman had planned to exterminate world Jewry, she stood up for her people – and risked death to save the Jews.

Let us honor Esther with action, and there is much we can do on Purim. There are four mitzvoth that can brighten your day and contribute to creating a better world:

Hear the Megillah

Head over to a synagogue next Wednesday night or Thursday, and listen and read along as the Megillah is chanted. Crank your grogger, and stamp your feet when Haman’s name is mentioned, and remember the brave Esther and Mordachai.

Give charity to the needy

You don’t have to travel too far to find someone who needs help. It could be a family member, a friend, or a homeless person standing at a stoplight with an empty coffee cup.
If you can’t leave your home, drop a few coins in your Tzedakah box.

Send food to friends

Who doesn’t like an unexpected nosh? You’ll help put a smile on someone’s face on Purim.

Feast

Sit down with your friends or family and mark the holiday with food, stories, and song. During a lull in the conversation, close your eyes and remember your ancestors. You’ll be carrying on a tradition that is part of your DNA.

If you don’t know where to listen to the Megillah on Purim, pick up the phone and call a synagogue before the holiday. Then go to temple and meet some new people. The joy of Purim has a way of instantly reaching the soul, and creating community.

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