by Nechama Gutman
What happens when you take a community with over 200 families and make it a mission to celebrate Purim across the city?
You bring the spirit of Purim to 3 different nursing homes and provide a morning of smiles and warmth.
You thank your local police department and let them know you always have them in your thoughts and prayers.
You make sure your city’s firemen (even while on shift) are able to share in the holiday festivities.
You bring a feeling of appreciation to your librarians.
You let your local hospital staff know that you are thinking of them always, and you make sure that the mailman feels a part of your community as well. You show your city and it’s employees that the Jewish Community is growing and thriving with their help.
Chabad of Coral Springs set out on a Mission yesterday and we know that it was a success.
The holiday of Purim takes place in Persia (modern day Iran). The story is told of King Achashverosh and his second-in-command, evil Haman. The king, in search of a wife, held a beauty contest; when his wife Esther was chosen, she kept her Jewish identity a secret as she moved into the palace. The evil Haman convinced the king to set a decree to kill all the Jews. With the help of Mordechai, Queen Esther was able to foil evil Haman’s plan. The Purim Story has many beautiful messages. Here are just a few of the many ideas that we shared today:
The story of Purim discusses the Evil Haman, who convinced the king to allow him to make a decree to have the Jews killed. The relevance to today? There are people in the world that will have it out for you. People who judge you for the faith that you have, the way that you look and even the uniform that you wear. Despite their hate, judgement and whatever else, our job is to continue. We have an obligation to be leaders, to do good, and overcome these obstacles.
Throughout the story of Purim, Queen Esther consults with her Uncle Mordechai. She kept her Jewish Identity a secret, hidden. When the decree was announced that the Jewish people were to be killed, she once again turned to her uncle to lead her in those difficult times. This story speaks so much about the chain of command. About having a leader, a Rabbi, a Chief whom you use as your sounding board in difficult times. Someone that you trust and respect to keep you safe.
Finally, throughout the story of Purim, G-d’s name is not mentioned despite it being a miracle that the Jewish people were saved. In those difficult moments, throughout averted catastrophe and close calls, we must realize that while we don’t always see G-d, He is always in our corner!
So today, our family along with the entire Chabad of Coral Springs Community gave out Mishloach Manos (gift baskets of food) to our Leaders, our Chiefs, our Teachers and all members of our community in recognition of those who lead with G-d’s help.
On the holiday of Purim we have 4 obligations or mitzvot that we do to celebrate. We read the story of Purim in its original context (the Megillah). We give baskets of food to others. We collect money for the needy and we have a festive meal.
Yesterday we had more than 40 Megillah readings across Coral Springs. We delivered more than 500 baskets of food items to city employees in every capacity. Over $6,000 was raised to help families that need assistance to cover food costs, and even provide meals to those in need. At the conclusion of the day, amongst the 4 Chabad Synagogues in our city, more than 600 Jewish families sat together to enjoy a festive meal. For all this and more, we have our ENTIRE Coral Springs Community to thank!