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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 24 Nov 2017 08:00 PM and ends Sat 25 Nov 2017 09:01 PM
י"א אדר ה' אלפים תש"ע
From the Rabbi’s desk
This coming Sunday we celebrate the chag (festival) of Purim. Just as during the Hebrew month of Av and leading up to the fast day of Tisha B’av we decrease in simcha [happiness], the opposite applies during the Hebrew month of Adar, leading up to the festival of Purim when we are obligated to increase in simcha.
There are a few laws that we are obligated to follow on Purim besides participating in the reading of the Megillah. If you read the Megillah, you will notice that the miracle of Purim came about throughout banquets and feasts. Therefore, when Purim was established by our sages as a holiday, it was decreed that on the day of Purim, we should have a festive feast as if it were Shabbat or Yom Tov.
Part of the simcha celebration of Purim consists of what the Talmud tells us that one should drink wine until “one doesn’t know between cursed be Haman and blessed be Mordechai”. We still have to be careful not to overdue things, for as is important as it may be to be happy and joyous, the underlying obligation of behavior that must not endanger lives (yours or anyone elses !) is paramount.
Another obligation we have on Purim is “shalach manot” [sending portions]. We are required to send two items of food, to friends or neighbours. This includes a drink and a food item – with the food having to be eaten immediately once received. The final obligation is that pertaining to “Matanot L’Evyonim”, gifts to the poor. If you live in the Caulfield/ St. Kilda area you will find people will be knocking on your door constantly, for Matanot L’Evyonim, gifts for the poor.
You are once again reminded about our services at Melbourne Hebrew Congregation this week that take place as follows –
- Thursday (25th) morning – tomorrow – Ta’anit Esther – our morning service commences at 7.00am for an hour
- Friday (early) evening service commences at 6:00pm for 15-20 minutes only.
- Shabbat morning service commences at 8:45am, when this week Daniel Sherr will be called to the torah and recite the haftorah prior to his forthcoming marriage to Jodi Roach. I extend on behalf of all the Congregation heartiest mazeltov to the young couple and their respective families – Peppy & David Sherr and Chrissy Roach & Oleg Roach. May they always be a source of naches to their dear parents and their extended families. In honour of the aufruf and the commencement of Purim in the evening, a special kiddush will follow the service to which all in attendance are most welcome.
- Saturday evening, after the conclusion of Shabbat the megillah reading will take place during maariv (evening service) that will commence promptly at 9.15pm.
All are welcome – adults and children alike and complete with costumes and gregers [noise makers]. Hamantashen and light refreshments will follow the hour long service.
- Sunday morning (28th February) - our Purim shacharit service commences at 8.00am and during which the megillah will be read once again. The service will be followed by a special Purim breakfast – so please join us at this festive and happy time
- Thursday morning - our regular shacharit service commences at 7.15am followed by a tasty breakfast and a shmooze. Always a good way to commence the day !
As previously promoted via invitations and my weekly e-mail, a special Purim Carnival fun afternoon is to be held on Sunday 28th February. The response from members to this great event has been fantastic and although there’s NO entry fee, I request that if you’re able, just ‘phone the shule office or e-mail Ronny and let him know that you’ll be attending. We want to make sure we DON’T run out of food !!!!!!!!
I do so want to ensure that as many as possible fulfill the mitzvah of celebrating a joyous Purim – so remember keep Sunday afternoon 28th February free – it’ll be great FUN (see the attached flier for full details) - & don’t forget the reading of the megillah will take place in shule on Saturday evening (27th) and Sunday morning 28th.
Finally please remember my adult’s shiur takes place each Monday evening at my home at 33 Melby Avenue East Kilda at 8.00pm – the informed and the uninformed, the knowledgeable and the not so knowledgeable are all welcome – come along and enjoy an informative evening – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed !
Shabbat Shalom & Purim Sameach !
Rabbi Dovid Rubinfeld