Editorial: On Purim, a time to rejoice

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Editorial: On Purim, a time to rejoice

Purim takes place this year on March 22 and 23. The holiday details how a Jewish woman, Esther, saved an entire nation from death. It arrives in the Hebrew month of Adar, which the Talmud states is auspicious for the Jewish people.

Each day many of us are faced with obstacles, and we can choose to ignore them or to find proper solutions. In the story of Purim, Esther learned that Haman had planned to exterminate world Jewry. She then 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.

These are four mitzvot of Purim 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. Many congregations will be open this Purim, and nearly all will offer online Purim programs. So, 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

Everyone seems to need a little help these days. It could be a family member, a friend, or a homeless person standing at a stoplight with an empty coffee cup. A smile doesn’t cost anything; and listening to someone in need of a connection is also free. 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!

If you gather with family and friends, be mindful that COVID-19 is still with us 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. Θ

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