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Tuesday, Adar2 5, 5779 / March 12, 2019


The holiday of Purim, one of the most festive holidays in the Hebrew calendar, will be celebrated next week Wednesday night and Thursday. The story of Purim is recorded in the Megilat Esther - Scroll of Esther, which will be read on Purim night and again during Purim day.


Purim is the holiday when we celebrate the miracle of Jewish survival. Jewish survival is a great miracle indeed. Even to this day, after a third of our people were murdered, antisemitism is again on the rise. From the UN to the universities, to members of the US congress, Israel and by extension the Jewish people are at fault for the wrold’s problems. Jewish survival is a miracle today as it was in the past 2000 years.


The Talmudic sages say, “One should pray for the welfare of the government, for if not for the government and the law and order they constitute, people would swallow each other alive!” This is as true today, as when it was said over fifteen hundred years ago.  Every Jew today is a living miracle.


This is why Purim  is the most joyous holiday, for it celebrates our very existence to this day.


The miracle of Purim, which occurred on the 14th of Adar, is so special that it affects the entire month of Adar. Our sages state, "When the month of Adar enters, we increase in happiness.” The joy of Purim extends through the entire month.


Q.  Why is the holiday called Purim?


A.   “Purim” comes from the word "pur" which means "lots."  


The Megilah tells us that, upon receiving permission to annihilate the Jewish people, Haman cast "lots" for the best day and month in which to execute his plan. The lot fell on the 13th day of the month Adar.  Haman was very pleased, for he knew that Moshe (Moses) passed away in the month of Adar.


Haman said, "Now I am sure that my plan will succeed for the great leader and saviour of the Jewish people died in Adar and thus this month must be an unlucky month for the Jews."


But, as our sages tell us, Haman didn't know that Moshe was also born in Adar and as a result it turned out to be a good month for the Jewish people and the month of Haman's downfall.


Moshe was born on the seventh of Adar and died on that same day, 120 years later.


As mentioned, our sages tell us, "When the month of Adar enters, we increase in happiness,” it is especially true this year, which is a leap year, with two months of Adar. Thus we celebrate a double portion of joy and happiness this year. May we witness great miracles for all Jewish people and especially for the people in Israel, Amen.