Beth Israel has a wonderful tradition of creating Purim gifts for every household in the community. There is also a custom of giving tzedakah and feeding the hungry on this holiday but mishloach manot are sent as a kindness to everyone! BI members - you can pick yours up anytime beginning March 20th. The deadline for orders is March 6th.
Purim, the festival linked to the book of Esther, is celebrated playfully by Jewish communities across the globe. It is the silliest holiday on the Jewish calendar, arriving in the doldrums of winter reminding us that spring and Pesach are not so far off. The Purim story tells of a time when the Jewish people were saved from calamity and when ingenuity triumphed over evil. Stepping into this story encourages us to release pain and worry and to soothe ourselves with laughter and creativity. Tomorrow we will go back to solving the problems of the world. Today we will bask in an oasis of joy. Beth Israel raises up the entertaining Purim Shpiel, the Purim play, which is preceded by dinner, a silly service and the reading of the scroll of Esther. (Megillah reading) We will enjoy these together the evening of March 20th.
Purim, like the winter festivals of Chanukah and Tu B'Shevat, is considered a minor festival. But we love it and celebrate it wholeheartedly. We relish our yearly opportunity to share our playful rendition of the story and to hold with levity the conflict between good and evil that prevails to this day.
Many thanks to the members of the Beth Israel Rosh Chodesh group for producing these Purim gifts for our entire community. We are grateful for their sacred service.