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TORAH GEM - PURIM / PARSHAT TETZAVEH


This Thursday Feb 25, is the Fast of Esther commemorating the three days' fast that Esther and the Jewish people observed before she approached King Ahashverosh with her request on behalf of the Jewish People.


This Friday Feb 26, we celebrate the joyous Holiday of Purim. We observe this day of many Mitzvot by: hearing the Megillah at night (on Thurs) and again on Friday morning; providing charity to at least two needy people; giving two kinds of food to at least one person; reciting special prayers; eating a festive meal (on Friday the meal should start before Midday); safely drinking a bit more than usual and or taking an afternoon nap. With all its features, Purim is a microcosm of how life ought to be each day of our lives. A wonderful experience in serving Hashem filled with spiritual and material joy!


You won't find Hashem's name mentioned in the entire Megillah for this miracle was a hidden one. The story first appears to be a series of random events leading to a tragic end. However, Purim was transformed into a day of victory and salvation.


Most people can recognize supernatural miracles like the splitting of the Sea, or Manna falling from the heavens. How many of us are sensitive enough to recognize the hand of Hashem in our daily lives? Is the birth of a baby for example, any less a miracle? May this Purim serve to remind us to live everyday to its fullest and always remember that Hashem is with us!


HAPPY PURIM!


Parshat Tetzaveh describes the requirements of the Kohanim who serve in the Sanctuary. The first task was to produce pure olive oil for the light that would burn continually (Shmot 27:20). This light is represented today by the "Ner Tamid" - the eternal light that burns before the Holy Ark in our Synagogue. The people who ministered in the Sanctuary had to be very special individuals.

 

"V'ata T'daber El Kol Chachmei Lev Asher Melaytiv Ruach Chachma… " And you shall speak to all those that are wise hearted, that which I have filled with the spirit of wisdom..." (Shmot 28:3). Moshe is commanded to select people, who have been given extraordinary gifts from Hashem, to use their talents in the service of Hashem. Artists, craftsman, people in every field have something unique to contribute to the building of Hashem's dwelling place on earth; you and I do, as well.

 

Since the ultimate purpose of our existence is to build that Mikdash - that sanctuary for Hashem, the Torah teaches that each of us has a special role to play. Whatever your occupation, or station in life, wherever you are, you have the opportunity to bring holiness to your surroundings. As we are blessed with a great variety of Mitzvot, each of us can express our individuality in the areas most suitable to our talents. Some of us are natural teachers, while others may excel in comforting the sick or supporting charitable causes. We all can transform our homes into holy places where kindness and respect among people invite the presence of Hashem to dwell within.

 

Kol Tov!  Our best to you...it's all good. Shabbat Shalom, CM


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