Rabbi's Message

  • February 24, 2017


    Commentaries explain that one of the reasons the Jews during the time of Mordechai and Esther were deserving of destruction was the fact that they were “Am echad mefuzar u’mefuradf bein ha’amimOne nation scattered and dispersed among the nations” (Megillas Esther 3:8).  There was a lack of unity amongst the Jewish People; the geographic distance between each Jew and his brother was indicative of the chasm which existed in the hearts of Am Yisrael.  Hence, many of the mitzvos associated with the upcoming holiday of Purim were formulated to increase the feelings of love and brotherhood among Bnei Yisrael.

    One of the mitzvos intended to generate feelings of closeness is the commandment of Matanos L’Evyonim – Gifts for the PoorHalacha states that on Purim day itself, every person is obligated to give one gift to at least two poor people.  The value of the gift is disputed, but one would fulfill their obligation with a monetary gift of approximately $5 each.  However, when referring to this Purim mitzva of matanos l’evyonim, the Rambam writes (Laws of Purim 2:17) that it is much preferred for a person to give generously, above and beyond the minimum level of obligation for this mitzva, even if as a result one would minimize the amount spent on their festive Purim seudah, and on mishloach manos, as true joy is felt by one who brings joy to the hearts and souls of the downtrodden, the poor, and the orphaned. 

    We ask you to please give generously during this year’s Matanos L’Evyonim campaign, and help bring the Jewish People closer together. 

    Have a great Shabbos and a Chodesh Tov.

    Note: You can take part in the Matanos L’Evyonim campaign by making a check out to the Congregation Israel Tzedakah Fund, marking in the MEMO section ‘Matanos L’Evyonim Campaign’ and the money will be given to a number of worthwhile organizations which will disburse the charity to the poor on Purim day itself locally and in Israel to ensure fulfillment of the mitzva. Alternatively, and are the websites of two organizations in Israel that you can donate to their Matanos L’Evyonim campaigns and thereby fulfill your obligation.