Did You Know? The Mitzvot of Purim
Purim commemorates the events of the Book of Esther in the Bible, when Esther stepped forward, risking her posion as Queen of Persia, and, indeed her life, to save the Jewish people from destrucon. Toward the end of the book, in chapter nine, verses twenty through twenty-two, Mordecai, another of the heroes of the tale, suggests ways we as Jews should celebrate this amazing deliverance for generaons to come. From this passage, our sages derived four commandments:
1) Read the Megillah (the scroll of the Book of Esther) and tell the story of our deliverance.
2) Have a feast. 3) Send gis of food to your friends. 4) Give gis to the needy.
Here at the Temple, you can easily complete the first two mitzvot by aending our “Seuss-shan Purim Celebraon” on Sunday, March 4 at 9:30 a.m. We’ll tell the story and enjoy feasng and fun for the whole family. Remember to come in costume in honor of Queen Esther herself who “hid” her Jewish identy unl she had to step forward to save the day.
The sending of gis of food to your friends, known as mishloach manot, is a wonderful way to reach out to those you know and love. The tradion is to put together a basket of goodies and deliver it in me for the holiday. If you really want to show off, you can put together a basket so nice that it enables the recipient to fulfill the commandment of having a feast. Technically, to make that possible, your goodie basket would need to include wine so that the recipient can say the Kiddush.
The fourth commandment of giving gis to the needy, known as matanot l’evyonim, reminds us that even as we celebrate the joys in our lives, there are others who are struggling. A wonderful way to complete both the gi of food and the gis to the needy is to donate food to those who are hungry through our Feed A Needy Neighbor program. Help us fill the shelves outside our Sanctuary with non-perishable items to be donated to the food bank at Jewish Family and Community Services. While some may see Purim as a holiday only for the young, in truth we can all do our part to share our joy with others as we perform these special mitzvot together.
Excerpts from the Temple Bulletin, March 19, 1926.
Laura & Ashley Streets 1910-1950
Local Services Go On The Air. Dr. Kaplan greatly pleased with reception over WJAX
In keeping with the spirit of today, the Congregation Ahavath Chesed has employed the giant voice of radio to broadcast services from the Temple. Through the courtesy and by invitation of officials of the city of Jacksonville, the powerful municipal broadcasting station WJAX has relayed through the air several Friday evening religious services. A wealth of praise from the local listeners-in and scores of letters from all parts of the country attest the interest in the Temple’s latest venture.
Rabbi Israel L. Kaplan of the Temple is extremely gratified with the response to what was at first an experiment. He is particularly pleased with the large numbers of commendatory letters received from non-Jews who heard and enjoyed the services broadcast and who were most favorably impressed with the simplicity, dignity, vigor and universality of the message of the Jewish services. Hundreds of Jewish families are deeply appreciative of the privilege of hearing those broadcasts by the Temple Ahavath Chesed. From hospital sick beds and wheelchairs also have come letters of appreciation and Dr. Kaplan has been happy to receive assurance that the services have brought comfort, inspiration, and inner peace to many “shut-ins”.
Hazel Mack 5
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