Thoughts for the Week

Thursday, March 21


Purim celebrates the deliverance from extermination of the Jews planned by the wicked Haman, Vizier to Achashveros, King of Persia and Media. The plot was thwarted by the interventions of brave Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai as we read in Megillah Esther – the Scroll of Esther.

Traditionally we celebrate the Purim with much cheerfulness, fancy dress, and a comical Purim Spiel. This year however, as Israel is still enmeshed in a war against an enemy who, appears to ascribe wholeheartedly to the aims of Haman, and as we are still praying for the safe and immediate return of the hostages, it doesn’t feel right to celebrate Purim with the usual cheer.

Instead, this year we would like to highlight some of the other mitzvot attached to Purim. Traditionally these are the following four mitzvot:

  • Keri’at megillat Esther – the public reading of Megillat Esther
  • Mishloach manot – exchanging of gifts of food
  • Mattanot la-evyonim – donating charity to the poor
  • Se’udat Purim – eating a festive meal

We will be reading the Megillah on Saturday at 7pm – you can choose between a Masorti or a joint Reform and Liberal Erev Purim service – as well as on Sunday morning at 8.30am in the Masorti shacharit service.

The services will be followed with some usual nosh and on Sunday morning with fun activities for the whole family organised by HaMakom.  Non-HaMakom attending families are more than welcome to attend as well.

We would like to encourage everyone to focus this year particularly on the mitzvot of Mishloach Manot and Mattanot la-evyonim, by donating generously to our two charities: Goods for Good and the Harrow Food Bank. Baskets are available near the entrance of the shul office.

We wish you Chag Purim sameach

Rabbi Kathleen

March 21, 2024