MITZVOT FOR PURIM
1. Reading the Megillah, the Scroll of Esther
3. Delivering Shalach Manot (gifts)
4. Giving money to the poor (tzedakah)
Last week I told you about two of the four mitzvot associated with Purim, delivering gifts of food to family and friends, and giving money to the poor.
One of the remaining mitzvot is telling the story of Purim, through a public reading of Megillat Esther, or the Scroll of Esther, found in the Hebrew Bible. The highlight of the storytelling is drowning out the name of the villain, Haman, whenever his name is read. We’ll tell the story two ways this Friday night – first, we will read the story from a scroll, and then our teenagers will act out the story, always the highlight of our Purim celebration!
The other remaining mitzvah is being happy! We express our happiness two ways: attending a carnival or party, and participating in a festive meal. Wearing a costume is an important part of the celebration because being hidden is part of the Purim story. Esther hid her Jewishness, and God’s participation in our salvation is also hidden. We can treat Purim as a children’s holiday, or we can participate with great joy – and one way to do that is to dress in a costume, or at least wear a mask.
You can perform both of the remaining mitzvot, reading the Megillah and rejoicing by attending our Purim Carnival, BBQ dinner, and Short ‘N Sweet services this Friday afternoon and evening! Has the “mitzvah of the week” ever been so fun?
May you have a week of great joy,
Rabbi Debbie Israel