A Miracle in Our Times

Purim: When, How, What?

Posted on March 10, 2009. Filed under: 4 Mitzvahs for Purim, 4 Mitzvos for Purim, 4 things you need to do on Purim, A Miracle in Our Times, Al Hanissim Prayer, Ester, Esther, Haman, How is Purim celebrated, Jewish Customs, Jewish Miracles, Jewish traditions, Mishloach Manos, Mordechai, Parshas Mishpatim, Purim, Real, Seriously Dude!, Shushan Purim, sweet, The Truth, Torah, Torah is THE Truth, True, Truth, We WANT Moshiach NOW!!!, What?, What’s Purim, Wow! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

Hey everbody!  It’s Purim Today!!!

Do you know what Purim is?

How do we celebrate it?

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We had a question IF it’s OK to marry on Purim

So, we asked a Rabbi on Askmoses.com who said that we do NOT marry on Purim since we do NOT want to MIx the two Simchos together, as to NOT to take away from the significance, the importance & the holiness of Purim!!!

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What is Purim?

purim-mordechai-on-horse

A. Purim is a Jewish holiday celebrating G-d‘s problem with one ancient anti-Semite’s Final Solution. The story of Purim is the subject of the Scroll of Esther, one of the 24 books in the TaNaCH. Purim is one of two Jewish holidays enacted by the Sages in contrast to the biblical holidays commanded to Moses. (The other is Chanukah.)

B. Purim is the plural for lots in Persian. Haman (pronounced Hah-mahn), the chief of staff of the Persian Empire, attempted the ethnic cleansing of the kingdom’s Jewish population. He cast lots to determine what date would be best to wipe out the Jews, came up with the 13th day of the Hebrew month Adar, dispatched an imperial Jew-annihilation order to every government office, and sat back to take a drink. Little did Haman know that the recently coronated Queen Esther was Jewish and the cousin of his arch-nemesis, the Jewish government official Mordechai. Through his palace contact Hatach, Mordechai begged Esther to intervene, which she did—greatly annoying her royal hubby Ahasuerus (AKA: Achashverosh) who was rather ruffled to hear that someone wanted to murder his wife and her whole extended family. “Who’s the slob?” snarled the king. “He’s sitting right in front of you,” sobbed Esther. “‘Tis Haman!” Haman and family were hung, the annihilation order was countered with a Jewish self-defense provision (which resulted in empire-wide street combat between the Jews and their enemies), and the Jews triumphed.

Jews were the doctors and lawyers of their day. They were successful… they climbed all social ladders, they were Persians. But somewhere, somehow, they forgot about G-d

C. To mark this great miracle, Mordechai and Esther instituted that every year the 14th of Adar, the day the Jews rested from battle against their foes, be celebrated with feasts and rejoicing.1

D. Purim is more than just a dramatic true story. While outwardly an ethnic celebration, its inner significance is its hidden spiritual side–the restoration of the Jewish people’s tarnished spiritual identity. At the time of the Purim story, all the world’s Jews made their home in the contemporary superpower, the Persian Empire, which stretched from India to Ethiopia. They were the doctors and lawyers of their day. They were successful–profoundly, proudly successful. They were doing great. They identified with their host society, they fit in, they climbed all social ladders, they were Persians. But somewhere, somehow, they forgot about G-d. When their prestige, position and powerful connections failed them in the face of Haman’s hate, when even their own sister in the palace did lunch with their main malefactor, they turned all their hopes to Heaven and rushed headlong into the open arms of their Fathers’ faith. The resulting spiritual renaissance so reinvigorated and revolutionized Jewish society that in a few short years, the Second Temple was built and the 70-year Persian Exile came to a close

Footnotes:

1. Esther 9:20-32. In Shushan, the Persian capital, the Jews continued to defend themselves on the 14th of Adar and rested on the 15th. The 15th of Adar is also a holiday. See “What is Shushan Purim?”

How is Purim celebrated?

1. Take a Scroll

Go to your local synagogue and listen as the whole story of Purim is read from a hand-written scroll of parchment called a Megillah. The Megillah is read once on Purim eve and a second time the next morning, Purim day. During the reading, make sure to make lots of noise when the name of Haman is mentioned. You might want to get hold of a “gragger” a special noisemaker for the occasion. (If you are unable to make it to synagogue, contact your closest Chabad Center. It’s quite likely they can get someone to come read the Megillah for you.)

…to celebrate in a way that you’re coasting on a plane that takes you beyond your natural inhibitions and constraints. Let loose and celebrate

2. Food Gifts

Send a gift of at least two ready to eat food-types to at least one friend on Purim. See Mishloach Manot: Who What Where and When?

3. Gifts to the Poor

Give a monetary gift to at least two poor people. It is best to give directly to the poor on Purim but if that is not possible, give to a charity organization or place money in a charity box. See Why do we give charity on Purim?

4. Eat

Some time on Purim day, have a great feast. The Talmud instructs us to get so “spiced” (drunk) that we know not the difference between blessed is Mordechai and cursed is Haman. Obviously this does not apply to minors or those sloppy with their drinks. The idea is to celebrate in a way that you’re coasting on a plane that takes you beyond your natural inhibitions and constraints. Let loose and celebrate. (Remember: Purim practitioners drink responsibly. Don’t drink and drive.) See If getting drunk is inappropriate, why is it a Mitzvah to get drunk on Purim?

5. Thank G-d

We add a short section of thanksgiving to the Amidah and to the Grace After Meals. See Where can I download the prayers for Purim?

***   This is ONLY the additions for Purim, HOWEVER, for the FULL Text for the Grace After Meal, you can go to:

http://www.chabad.org/media/pdf/92404.pdf

Where can I download the prayers for Purim?

Actually, Purim has the least prayers of all Jewish holidays. (Perhaps we are intended to spend the day rejoicing and uniting with our fellow Jews, not holed up in the synagogue).

We do, however, add a short section to the Amidah and to the Grace After Meals. Click here for the text of this prayer — in Hebrew and English.

***   This is ONLY the additions for Purim, HOWEVER, for the FULL Text for the Grace After Meal, you can go to:

http://www.chabad.org/media/pdf/92404.pdf


Al Hanissim Prayer:

Text and Translation for the “Al Hanissim” prayer said on Purim during the daily prayers and grace after meals.

al-hanissim-prayer-1

When is Purim?

calendar

Purim is on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar.1 [During a Leap Year, Purim is on the 14th day of Adar II.]

For the year 2009, Purim starts at nightfall, Monday, March 9th, and ends at nightfall, Tuesday, March 10th.  [Click here for the exact times of nightfall for any location.]

Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish nation over Haman‘s decree of annihilation. Click here to read more about What is Purim? , How is Pruim celebrated?, and also What is Shushan Purim?.

The following are the beginning dates for Purim for the next few years:

2010 — nightfall, February 27

2011 — nightfall, March 19

2012 — nightfall, March 7

Footnotes:

1. In certain cities in Israel, Purim is observed on the 15th of Adar and is known as Shushan Purim. See What is Shushan Purim?

(http://www.askmoses.com/qa_detail.html?h=529&o=56435).

What is Shushan Purim?

David: What is Shushan Purim?

Rabbi Marcus: Shushan Purim refers to the day after Purim. It commemorates the day when the Jews of Shushan, the Persian capital, finally rested after defeating their enemies.

Rabbi Marcus: The Book of Esther1 records that in the rest of the kingdom, the Jews fought and beat their enemies on the thirteenth of Adar and rested on the fourteenth. That’s why Purim is celebrated on the fourteenth. But in Shushan, due to a special request by Queen Esther, the Jews received special dispensation from the king to continue fighting on the fourteenth—hence Shushan Purim, which is celebrated on the fifteenth of Adar.

David: I heard something about walled-cities and Shushan Purim?

Rabbi Marcus: Indeed. Shushan was a walled city. So in order to commemorate the celebration of the Jews of Shushan, other walled cities celebrate Purim on the fifteenth as well. Now, because Shushan was the capital city, it was considered prestigious to celebrate Purim on the same day as Shushan. The problem with that was that at the time that Purim was established, all the cities of the Land of Israel lay in ruins. So in order to grant some prestige to the Land of Israel, the sages said that inhabitants of any city that had a wall around it in the days of Joshua—even if now it lay crumbled—should celebrate Purim on the fifteenth like Shushan.2

Rabbi Marcus: In this way the Land of Israel was honored in the commemoration of Purim. If a city did not have a wall in the days of Joshua but had one in the days of Purim, its inhabitants would read on the fourteenth (except Shushan, which did not have a wall in the days of Joshua).

Rabbi Marcus: The Rishonim point out the connection between Joshua and Purim: Haman was a descendant of Amalek, the perpetual enemy of Israel. Joshua was the first to wage war against them (see Exodus 17:9). Thus the celebration of Purim is associated with Joshua.

Rabbi Marcus: Today, Jerusalem and Shushan are the only cities that are considered walled-cities as far as Shushan Purim is concerned. There are other cities in the land of Israel about which there is some doubt. The inhabitants of such cities, like Safed, observe the fifteenth as well “just in case.” (I.e., they read the Megillah but without saying the blessing.)

[Read the sequel to this chat: How do un-walled cities celebrate Shushan Purim? ]

Footnotes

· 1. Esther 9:16-18

· 2. Talmud tractate Megillah 2a-b. Maimonidies laws of Megillah 1:4-5

David: How do un-walled cities celebrate Shushan Purim?

David: I’m back again with another question…

Rabbi Marcus: My pleasure! What’s on your mind?

David: How do un-walled cities celebrate Shushan Purim?

Rabbi Marcus: Well, it is a festive day, which is celebrated with a bit of feasting, though not as much as Purim proper. We omit the Tachnun prayer as we do on Shabbat and holidays. You can’t fast on Shushan Purim; and if there is a funeral, we shouldn’t know from it, no eulogy is said. You don’t say the special prayer for Purim (v’al Hanissim).

Rabbi Marcus: Good news, though: if you want to get married on Shushan Purim, you can! (Though you can’t on Purim, since we don’t mix one joy with another. That’s why you can’t get married on a Jewish holiday. You have to give each celebration its own platform and date.)

Mishloach Manot: Who, What, Where and When?

food-basket

Everyone is required to send a food package to at least one Jewish acquaintance on Purim. This package is called Mishloach Manot — distribution of [food] portions. The package(s) must consist of at lease two different ready-to-eat food items and/or beverages.

Here are some Halachot pertaining to Mishloach Manot:

1) This Mitzvah must be performed during the daylight hours of Purim day;1 preferably after hearing the daytime Megillah reading.2

2) If you have little children, make sure they too send Mishloach Manot to their friends.3 It’s tons of fun, and educational to boot!

3) It is customary to send the Mishloach Manot via a third party. Little children make great, enthusiastic messengers! Also, have some treats handy to give out to those children who will be delivering Mishloach Manot to your home, and remind them to recite the proper B’rachah.

4) For reasons of modesty, men should send Mishloach Manot to male-friends, while women should give to female-friends.4 Alternatively, one family can send Mishloach Manot to another family.

5) It isn’t proper to send Mishloach Manot to a mourner. This includes anyone who has, G-d forbid, lost a father or mother within the last twelve months, or someone whose spouse, brother, sister, son or daughter has passed on within the last thirty days.5

6) Though we are required to give Mishloach Manot to only one person, someone who gives to more people is called “praiseworthy,” and this is a traditional opportunity for expressing our gratitude and friendship towards others. Nevertheless, it is better to spend money on giving Purim charity than on elaborate Mishloach Manot.6

7) The Mishloach Manot must consist of Kosher food. Now, duh…

See also Why do we give away food on Purim?

Footnotes:

· 1. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 142:5

· 2. One should have in mind Mishloach Manot and Charity to the poor, when hearing the Shehechiyanu blessing for the Megillah reading. (See Siddur Yavetz on Purim).

· 3. Pri Megadim Orach Chayim 695:14. See also Shevach HaMoadim laws of Purim 11:6.

· 4. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 142:4

· 5. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 142:7. A mourner however must give Mishloach Manot. S/he should give someone something basic (just to fulfill the Mitzvah) but not a lavish basket etc.

· 6. Kitzur 142:1

The above info was found on Http://www.AskMoses.com

We recommend that you visit them for more info…

To find a Purim event in a city near you, please go to the following address:

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/purim/events.htm

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We recommend that you visit them for more info…

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*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

By the way, You, too, can help hasten the coming of Moshiach, by doing ONE more Mitzvah. ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

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Rabbi Simon Jacobson Lecture: MOSCOW 2009 A Miracle in Our Times

Posted on February 6, 2009. Filed under: A Miracle in Our Times, Lecture of Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Lectures by Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Lectures of Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Moscow 2009, Rabbi Simon Jacobson, Rabbi Simon Jacobson Lecture, Rabbi Simon Jacobson Lectures, The Truth, Torah, True, Truth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

BS”D

Lectures of:

Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Brought to you by:

Lectures of: Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Of:

http://www.MeaningfulLife.com

This Lecture’s Subject:

MOSCOW 2009

A Miracle in Our Times

By Simon Jacobson

February 5, 2009 – Moscow, Russia

Amidst all our current global turmoil, I would like to report to you that I find myself in a city which caused much upheaval in the last century, and despite all odds and predictions is now witness to a living miracle.

I should add that this miracle touches me very personally.

With great anticipation I embarked on my journey to Moscow for this present lecture tour. You see, this city is the birthplace of my father. Indeed, Russia is the country of origin of both my parents, my grandparents and all my immediate ancestors. It is also the birthplace of my mentor, the Rebbe, and all his predecessors. It is the country which gave birth to the Chassidic movement, which has deeply shaped my life with its transformative philosophy and blueprint for contemporary life.

The largest segment of American Jews trace their roots to this country.

The list is long with both the contributions and calamities of this historic country.

With my entire upbringing shaped by Russian influences, I was quite naturally looking very much forward to finally coming to the country that is so embedded in my genes and in my nurturing.

Right off the plane I felt right at home. All the words of my childhood come pouring out. “Spasiba.” “Das vi danya.” Dobre vetcha.” “Panyimayot.” “Tochne.” “Shto.” “Pazhaleste.” “Maladetz.”

Of course, the indispensable “tak.” And some words not for print. Lest you wonder, I feel quite inept with my knowledge of this language. I know just enough to answer “nimnoshka” to the question whether “panyimyot paruski?” and definitely “nyeta gavarit.”

Yes, I feel sense of belonging here. But little did I expect the intensity of my emotional reactions. I am actually now sitting and weeping as I think about the unlikely – unlikely is grossly inadequate; it’s more of a revolutionary – transformation that has taken place within yards from where I presently sit.

For over 70 years, from the time of the Russian Revolution, a war was waged from this city and country against Jewish life. Tragically, the Communists effectively closed down synagogues, schools and all the institutions that allowed Judaism to thrive in this country for centuries. In this city thousands of Jewish Rabbis, leaders, scholars, just fine people, were shot without just cause. It was the city from where Stalin drove terror into the hearts of hundreds of millions and killed tens of millions.

And on a personal note: It was in this city in 1937, in a neighborhood called Malachavkeh, where my grandfather and namesake was arrested by the NKVD, the dreaded Soviet secret police. A few years earlier, in the same city in 1923, my grandfather merited to be one of the ten individuals, who together with the Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak took a vow to the death to do everything in their power to preserve Jewish life in that country. Most of those ten were arrested and shot. My grandfather would end up exiled in Siberia for several years and finally escape the country, physically broken though spiritually stronger (here is a video of my father describing that dark night). Most others were not so fortunate. They were either killed or died from hunger. The remaining Jews were persecuted and not easily allowed to maintain their heritage.

[Moscow was also the city which, in its Russian-style obstinacy, in the shape of bitter cold winter, froze Napoleon and later Hitler in their march forward to conquer this notoriously resilient country].

You would think that after all this there would be no remnant left of Jewish life in Moscow and Russia.

Quite the contrary.

Now I sit in Moscow and watch Jews who lived through all that terror – some of them quite elderly, many others are their children and grandchildren – and in one way or another have maintained their Judaism. Many others are reconnecting to their roots. It’s a complicated story; no one even knows how many actual Jews there are in this country. Many, many parents hid their identities from their children to protect them from the discrimination. So many others have intermarried. But one thing is for sure: The place is saturated with Jewish energy. It feels like being in a burned out building but you still can see the simmering embers that have remained burning – barely. But burning they are, and like the nature of a spark, they are flickering and beginning to burst into flames.

There is much work and hard work that still needs to be done, but what is so awesome is that the cinders have remained alive. After all this time and all the attempts to extinguish them, after two World Wars and all the upheavals in the last century, who would have thought?…

And this survival and revival is no an accident. Behind the scenes there were those in this country and outside of it that were risking their lives – with literal mesiras nefesh – to maintain the pilot flame. I will never forget my father’s description of a personal audience he had with the Rebbe, following his 1971 visit to the Soviet Union. My father delivered hundreds of letters written by Russian Jews to the Rebbe, pouring out their souls, asking for blessings and describing their challenges. Not to arouse suspicion, these letters were addressed, “Dear Father,” “Dear Uncle” and the likes. The Rebbe gently took the letters and began reading them. Within a few minutes the Rebbe was crying. My father, feeling uncomfortable remaining in the room with the Rebbe in such an intimate moment, slowly began backing out of the room. The Rebbe motioned that he remain. He stood there crouched in a corner, watching this rare sight of a holy man sobbing uncontrollably over the plight of his people.

These tears were not that rare. Over the years of his leadership, the Rebbe never ceased speaking out – crying out – for the Jews trapped on the “other side of the iron curtain.” I personally witnessed the unyielding and emphatic cries of the Rebbe, always citing the Talmudic declaration that “even an iron curtain cannot separate them from their Father in heaven.” You could see in the Rebbe’s appeals the profound concern and pain that he consistently carried inside for his brethren – who were also his fellow countrymen and women – living, suffering in the Soviet Union.

This concern was not limited to feelings. Not here is the place and the time to go into the Rebbe and the Previous Rebbe’s superhuman, underground efforts to keep the Jewish flame alive through all those hard years, via a secret network of activities that span back to the 1920’s!

That defiant effort alone – to stand up against the might Soviet empire and not accept defeat – should go down in history as one of the most formidable acts of heroism. But the story doesn’t end there. These herculean efforts yielded their fruit: The flame remained burning, while the Soviet empire crumbled. Fulfilling the prescient words of the Rebbe Yosef Yitzchak to one of his Jewish captors (from the notoriously hated “yevsektzia,” the Jewish wing of Communists): When the captor sneered to the Rebbe “Rebbe, mir velen zehn ver vet oisfiren,” we shall see who will prevail, the Rebbe replied: “ye, mir velen zehn,” yes indeed, we shall see…

And now we see…

To see the renaissance of Jewish life in Moscow – after all that transpired – is quite overwhelming…

What relevance does of all of this have to us today?

On the most obvious level: This is a story of hope. Should anyone reading these lines be in despair, feel hopeless or suffering in any form and fashion – I bring you live and warm regards from a city where hope and faith have prevailed over the harshest of adversaries.

As I was speaking the other day to a group of Russian Jews – I spoke in English simultaneously being translated into Russian – I could see the tears in the eyes of several people in the audience when I thanked them for remaining standing through it all. I could see the emotions well when they heard about the Rebbe reading their letters with tears.

After witnessing this all, no one should ever be able to say that there is no hope…

As so many of us are wondering what will come of our current economic woes, of never-ending volatility in the Middle East, of each of our own personal fears and uncertainties — Moscow 2009 is a powerful reminder that we know very little about the mysteries of life cycles. Yesterday, Moscow was destroying lives, today it is building them. Yesterday, Moscow all but annihilated Jewish life and morale. Today Jewish life is thriving here.

In the center of Moscow an impressive seven-story Jewish Community Center is buzzing with activity. From classrooms, synagogues, two kosher restaurants, community rooms, sports activities, dinner halls, ballrooms, and that’s not even half of it. Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar sits unassuming in his office, overseeing KGB headquarters on one end and an empire of Jewish institutions on the other. I am looking into his eyes to see if he senses the great miracle he is part of.

But awesome moments are never recognized as they happen; only in retrospect.

Moscow today is indeed an awesome sight to behold when placed in context of Moscow in 1937.

And its lessons reverberate. With crisis brewing world over, who knows where and when the next Moscow will emerge.

—— * ——

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Above portions were copied from Lectures of: Rabbi Simon Jacobson

Of: http://www.MeaningfulLife.com

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We recommend that you visit them for more info and many many many many other articles on any and all subject you could think of…

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*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

By the way, You, too, can help hasten the coming of Moshiach, by doing ONE more Mitzvah. ***

*** We WANT Moshiach, Now!!! ***

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

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