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Feasting, Rejoicing and Sharing

Posted: February 27, 2013

Last weekend it was Purim, a joyous holiday of celebration—on this day, the Jews of Persia were spared annihilation when the plot of the evil vizier, Haman, was foiled through the bravery and honesty of Queen Esther.  While its roots are historical, the modern observance is characterized by frivolity, laughter and free expression of happiness.  

There are many ways to celebrate, but I especially love two Purim customs.  The first is the giving of little baskets of goodies to friends and neighbors, called mishloach manot.  I came to work on Monday and there was a lovely plate of treats from one of our Brighton residents, David Schonfield—can you imagine how wonderful it was to come into that?

The second is the tradition of giving charity to the poor, called matanot la'evyonim.  JCHE is only able to offer the extensive programs and services because nearly 1,500 people give us donations (not all on Purim) to support our work.  Tonight, at the Brighton Purim dinner, three thoughtful members of the community spent their evening helping us serve, clean up and party with our residents.  Judy Levenfeld, along with her college-bound son Eric Hollenberg, and Debbie Debotton provided that extra boost that made everything run smoothly—a gift from their hearts.

I appreciate that when we feel happy, as we do on this holiday, our responsibility is to share that with others, and this Purim we saw ample evidence of that loving spirit.

Photos of our community volunteers distributing raffle prizes at the Purim party (left to right): Judy Levenfeld; Eric Hollenberg; Debbie Debotton

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