The Hebrew month of Adar has begun. According to the Talmud, “when the month of Adar arrives, we increase in joy” and welcome a season of miracles. The Talmud also states that this month is fortuitous for the Jewish people.
And with the arrival of Adar, comes Purim – the holiday that details how a Jewish woman, Esther, saved an entire nation from death. Purim will begin Thursday night, Feb. 25 and continue through Friday, Feb. 26.
As we continue to face the health emergency and economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus – 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
There’s nothing like listening to the Megillah on Purim in synagogue, surrounded by community. Few congregations will be open this Purim, but nearly all will offer online Purim programs. So tune in next Thursday night, 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 Mordechai.
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.
If you gather with your immediate family, practice social distancing, and mark the holiday with food, stories, and song. Perhaps, during a lull in the conversation, close your eyes and remember your ancestors. After all, they heard the same Hebrew words that form the Megillah. You’ll be carrying on a tradition that is part of your DNA.