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America Is Not Different

How To Nullify A Decree

One Sheep, 70 Wolves, and a Great Shepherd

Purim and Yom Kippur

Be Happy ;-)

When The Stakes Are High

Stretching Out Our Hands

On With The Party

The Power of Children

Prioritizing Gifts

Cosmic Sleep

Oil And Wine

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Purim & Moshiach

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The Megillah


 When The Stakes Are High On With The Party

Stretching Out Our Hands

Do you remember hearing a parent, teacher or elder tell you, "Do what I say, not what I do"? Although as children we might have considered such an instruction a contradiction (and maybe it was!), as "mature" adults we can certainly understand it. After all, who's perfect? We're human. At least once in a while it's hard to avoid doing something that cannot or does not match our instruction to someone else.

G-d, however, isn't limited as we are. When G-d tells us to do something, He accepts upon Himself the same obligations. And we don't have to worry that G-d will say one thing and do another. Thus, as Jews are commanded to wear tefilin, G-d, too, "dons" tefilin, though His tefilin are slightly different. Whereas our tefilin speak of our love for G-d and our responsibility to obey His commands, G-d's tefilin speak of His love for the Jewish people.

This reciprocal relationship is evident in the upcoming holiday of Purim, as well. On Purim we have the mitzva of giving charity to anyone who extends his/her hand for help. Our Sages explain that on Purim, we, too, have the right to "put out our hand" to G-d and ask Him for our needs, even more than on any other day. As we are commanded by G-d to fulfill the needs of others when they extend their hands on Purim, G-d will also fulfill our needs when we do the same.

How do we put out our hand to G-d? Through prayer.

The Baal Shem Tov taught that on Purim one should rise early to pray and ask G-d for everything that he needs. And not only for oneself, but for others as well, for Purim is an especially auspicious time for our prayers, just like Yom Kippur.

Interestingly, Yom Kippur is also referred to as Yom HaKipurim, literally "the day that is like Purim," hinting that Purim is an even more auspicious day than Yom Kippur!

Thus, amidst the rejoicing, merrymaking, charity-giving, hamentashen- eating, gifts of food (Mishlo'ach Manot) sending, Megila-hearing, and dressing up of Purim, it's a truly auspicious time to spend some minutes in heartfelt prayer to G-d, putting out our hands for all of our own personal needs, and for the needs of our family and friends.

On Purim, the holiday of Redemption from Haman's evil plan, we should also remember to ask G-d for our most personal and, at the same time, global need, the revelation of Moshiach and the final Redemption.

 When The Stakes Are High On With The Party

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