From the Cantor,  Murray Simon
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Purim “comes just once a year to cheer you with its singing.” So goes the text of the popular Purim song, “Ani Purim” (I Am Purim). As you may know,  Purim falls on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. This year being a leap year in our lunar calendar, there are TWO months of Adar – Adar I and Adar II. When this occurs, Purim comes in the second month of Adar – or Adar II, which coincides with March 17th and 18th this year.

 

“When the Hebrew month of Adar enters, we have a lot of joy” (Mishnah Taanith 4:1). We are also admonished in Megillat Esther to “enjoy light and gladness, happiness and honor” (Esther 8:16).

 

As the story goes, Haman wanted to exterminate all the Jews, but his diabolical plan was thwarted by Queen Esther and her parental guardian, Mordechai. Obviously, this is  the reason for our great celebration.

 

Curiously, the name of God is never mentioned in the entire Book of Esther. Truth be told, we’re not even sure that this story took place. But the message for us today is clear. If we are threatened as a Jewish People, we must react ourselves and not wait for God to intercede.

 

As incidents of anti-semitism increase in our time, we must not sit idly by. We must be proactive -- just as Queen Esther and Mordechai met “head on” their threat to exist as a happy, productive and peaceful people. This is the message of Purim for us today. May it be a jolly holiday for all!

 

Cantor Murray E. Simon