JFS eNEWS 26/02/21
By the time you read this editorial, we will hopefully be in the middle of our Purim celebrations. I hope that you have received your Mishloach Manot food parcels from JiEP, that you have had a chance to hear the school virtual Megillah reading and that you have watched this year’s Purim Spiel; and through this, you feel that we have in our own unique ways this year, been able to come together as a school to celebrate.
On Purim, we recall a victory of the Jewish people over genocidal enemies. “The very day on which the enemies of the Jews had expected to rule over/destroy us, the opposite happened, and the Jews subdued their enemies…” (Megillat Esther 9/1)
So here’s an interesting question, how do we react to this victory?
There are four Mitzvot (commandments) that Jewish people are required to fulfil on Purim. These Mitzvot serve as a paradigm as to how we should respond when things start to turn out okay/when we get good news. Let’s look at these Mitzvot:
- We read the Megillah and familiarise ourselves with events, hopefully appreciating that despite the darkness and threat that loomed over us, light ultimately prevailed.
- We give charity to those less fortunate than ourselves – at the time of joy, we should worry less about splashing out on our own celebrations and think more of others – what an incredible response.
- We send food parcels to friends and neighbours – to help them celebrate and to cement friendships.
- We have a joyous party/meal.
Each of these four Mitzvot help us to understand that when things work out well, rather than just celebrate in a personal way, it is far more fitting to deepen a sense of ‘otherness,’ and look for ways to make other people’s lives full of joy.
Our journey out of this pandemic is far from over and there has been a great deal of tragedy and loss that has been so hard for so many people, within and outside of our community. Please G-d, the journey out of the darkness will continue at a pace. When we get to that brighter tomorrow, we can perhaps reflect on the message of the four Mitzvot of Purim and celebrate the good times by including others in our joy – Purim Sameach.
Deputy Headteacher, Jewish Life and Learning
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