Mitzvah gedola lehiot b’simcah tamid. It’s a great mitzvah to be continuously joyful and the rabbis said that when the month of Adar comes, joy is increased (“MiShenichnas Adar Marbim BeSimcha”).
Purim is the reason for the season. The story of Purim is told in the book of Esther, which is in the third section of the Bible called K’tuvim, or Writings. This book of the Bible also is written as a scroll, called in Hebrew M’gillat Esther, the Scroll of Esther. There is much scholarly debate as to the historic accuracy of the story of Purim. Whether the story actually happened, it teaches timeless lessons such as standing up for one’s rights, remaining committed to the Jewish people, defending the community, saving lives, celebrating our deliverance and caring for the needy.
Family Activities for Purim
Fulfill the mitzvot of Purim by doing one or more of the following:
Prepare a se’udat Purim. On Purim, have a special after school snack for your children, prepare a festive dinner or host a potluck dinner in Esther’s honor.
Create plates of mishlo-ach manot to share with family and friends. Kids can deliver these treats in their Purim costumes.
Give matanot l’evyonim, gifts to the poor, by donating food or money to a local food pantry, cooking or serving a meal at a soup kitchen, making sandwiches to give away, baking hamantashen to sell and donating the proceeds or holding a cannedfood drive for a local food bank.
Red Table Cloth Club
Are you ever curious why we bow at some parts in the prayer service or stand on our tiptoes during other parts? Now you can learn the structure of Jewish prayer at Kiddush lunch on Saturdays! Led by John Wills, Beri Schwitzer, Earl Bills and other members of the community, we will explore the meaning and depth behind Jewish spiritual language as well as the sometimes confusing choreography and customs of the synagogue. Each week we will review the origins and meanings of the liturgy starting at the beginning of the Siddur. Handouts will be provided each week; although, participants might find it useful to have their own copies of Sim Shalom and the Artscroll Siddur (with interlinear translation). Following Saturday morning service, grab a plate and come learn with us at the table with the red tablecloth! For additional questions, please contact Beri Schwitzer (firstname.lastname@example.org).