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Purim – Let the Festivities Begin Parts 3 and 4 – Seudat Purim/Festive Meal and Matanot L’evyonim/Gifts for the Poor.

Purim is finally upon us.  I have been using my Shtender over the past couple of weeks to highlight the different mitzvot of Purim.    The four major mitzvot of Purim are, Kriat HaMegillah or Reading the Megillah, Mishloah Manot or giving gift packages to friends and family, Matanot Le’evyonim or donations to the poor and Seudat Purim or festival Purim meal.  This week, I am highlighting the last two mitzvot, Seudat Purim and Matanot L’evyonim, and their significance for us today.

Seudat Purim, the festive meal of Purim, is a mitzvah that encourages us to come together as a community and celebrate the salvation of the Jewish people. During this meal, we enjoy delicious food and drink, exchange gifts, and engage in lively conversation. Sharing a meal is deeply rooted in our tradition and symbolizes unity, friendship, and gratitude. By partaking in Seudat Purim, we not only commemorate the events of the Purim story but also strengthen the bonds within our community. We have added a wonderful addition to our Seudat Purim – the USY Purim Carnival.  What a great opportunity to fulfill this joyous mitzvah.

In addition to Seudat Purim, the mitzvah of Matanot Levyonim, or giving gifts to the poor, reminds us of the importance of compassion and empathy. Purim is a time when we express our gratitude for our blessings by reaching out to those who are less fortunate. By giving generously to those in need, we fulfill the commandment to care for the vulnerable members of our society. This act of kindness not only benefits the recipients but also uplifts our spirits and deepens our connection to the values of tzedakah (charity) and chesed (loving-kindness). It allows everyone in the community to have the opportunity to celebrate the holiday. 

Both Seudat Purim and Matanot Levyonim hold great significance for us today. In a world that often seems divided and disconnected, these mitzvot remind us of the power of community, unity, and compassion. They teach us that celebrating our joy and success is inseparable from reaching out to those in need. By engaging in Seudat Purim, we strengthen the bonds of our community, fostering a sense of belonging and togetherness. Through Matanot Levyonim, we extend our hands to those facing hardships, demonstrating our commitment to social justice and our responsibility to care for one another.

We will celebrate Purim Saturday night with our Megillah reading and Murder Mystery Party and then on Sunday with our Megillah reading and USY Purim Carnival. We hope to see everyone there – IN COSTUME!

Wishing you all a Purim filled with joy, unity, and acts of kindness.


Rabbi Bradley Tecktiel


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