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Visit For Shabbos

rabbi's message


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’amim – One nation scattered and dispersed among the nations” (Megillas Esther 3:8). There was a lack of unity among 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 Matanos L’Evyonim – Gifts for the Poor. Halacha 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 ani. 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 CIS Matanos L’Evyonim campaign by making a check out to ‘Congregation Israel Tzedakah Fund’, writing 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 trustworthy and excellent organizations in Israel that you can donate to their Matanos L’Evyonim campaigns and thereby fulfill your obligation.

Sun, February 18 2018 3 Adar 5778