MITZVOT FOR PURIM
- Reading the Megillah, the Scroll of Esther
- Delivering Shalach Manot (gifts)
- Giving money to the poor (tzedakah)
Next week is Purim! We will celebrate it Friday night with our annual Purim Carnival and Short N Sweet Service (details can be found under announcements). There are four mitzvot (commandments) associated with this holiday! This week I will tell you about two of the mitzvot, and next week we will continue with the other two. Here are your mitzvot of the week:
– Remember the poor: On every holiday we are asked to remember the poor in our community, but on Purim it is a requirement to gift a give to at least two poor people. This gift can be anything: food, clothes, or money, or whatever the poor person needs. Every poor people are supposed to give a gift to someone else. At Emeth, we collect clothes and food for the poor, and one way to fulfill this mitzvah would be to bring items for those buckets (located in the social hall). And of course, fill your tzedakah cans and bring them anytime between now and Purim to the temple. Find additional ways to help the poor in celebration of Purim.
– Gifts for friends and family: While we are asked to give gifts to the poor, we are also instructed to deliver Shalach Manot baskets. These gifts are designated for friends or relatives and should contain food or drink. Most baskets include hamantashen, the triangular shaped cookies associated with Purim. The gifts should be prepared before the holiday, so this week is the perfect time to begin assembling them. If possible, the gift is delivered by a “messenger” because “shalach” comes from the Hebrew word “to send”. Often one’s children are the messengers. If no messengers are available it is permissible to bring the gift in person.
Next week we’ll add the other two mitzvot for Purim for the mitzvah of the week!
May you have a week of blessings and a Shabbat of peace,
Rabbi Debbie Israel