This Wednesday night and Thursday, March 23 and 24, we will have the opportunity and privilege to do many mitzvos that are performed only once (or twice) a year:
Megillah Reading- we hear the story of Purim read twice, once at night (Wednesday, March 23) and once during the following day (Thursday, March 24). We are especially attentive to the reading of Megillas Esther so as not to miss even one word.
Mishloach Manos- on Purim day, one is obligated to send a gift of at least two ‘portions’ of food or drink to a friend. Ideally, this should be food items that can be eaten as a part of the Purim Seudah. [Even if you have taken part in the Sisterhood’s Mishloach Manot program, each member of the family over the age of 12 (women) or 13 (men), should send at least one personal mishloach manos.]
Matanos L’Evyonim- during the day of Purim one should give a substantial gift to at least two poor people. As the Rambam points out, it is more important to be generous with matanos l’evyonim than with mishloach manos. [To make this mitzva easier to fulfill, you can simply have a check made out to “Congregation Israel Tzedaka Fund”, and give it to me by March 23rd after the nighttime Megillah reading, and the money will go to provide for the poor. Alternatively, you can go to www.yadeliezer.org or www.lemaanachai.org to give matanos l’evyonim via credit card online.]
Purim Seudah- it is a mitzva to have a festive meal in honor of Purim. The formal obligation is only during the day. It is recommended that adults, who are not driving after the seudah, drink some wine with this meal, as much of the events of the Purim story involved wine.
P.S. As Purim is soon upon us, Lea and I would like to invite the entire Shul to our home for an open house waffle bar on Purim day, from 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM for homemade waffles and some Purim joy. Hope to greet you then!!
May we merit many more opportunities for mitzvos.
Have a great Shabbos and a Happy Purim.