By Samara Katz
Director of Congregational Learning, Temple Emeth
“To him who has the means and refuses the needy, the Holy One says: Bear in mind, fortune is a wheel!”
– Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav
Wheel of Fortune is a risky game. Some land on the jackpot while others hit a bankrupt. The nightly version of Pat and Vanna’s entertaining word-puzzle game is overshadowed by a world which often seems to turn on the negative – disasters, evil deeds, persecution and tragedies. Purim reminds us that there is hope for a triumphant solution to life’s many issues. As we celebrate the Purim holiday by reading the Megillah, holding feasts and festivities, and giving gifts to friends and to those in need, we celebrate this optimistic and life-affirming worldview. We are also reminded that the wheel can spin unpredictably. While we celebrate our good fortune, we think of those less fortunate, and offer help.
Temple Emeth is once again joining 55 Boston-area congregations, day schools, and college Hillels in aiding needy people through Yad Chessed, a unique charity that provides a safety net for individuals and families in severe economic distress. Yad Chessed distributes $425,000 annually in emergency aid, ongoing food and clothing assistance, and special holiday allocations – as well as interest-free loans – to 1,400 individuals in the greater Boston Jewish community.
In 2012, Yad Chessed distributed $92,925 in food assistance through its communitywide Purim program, which builds on the ancient Jewish practice of giving matanot l’evyonim (“gifts to the poor”), as the Book of Esther enjoins us to do on Purim day.
Temple Emeth will collect funds for this purpose at our megillah reading on Saturday evening, February 23. We will tally the collection and inform Yad Chessed of the amount the next morning, so that all of the funds can be distributed on Purim day itself.
For additional information, go to yadchessed.org or https://www.jewishboston.com/resources/356-yad-chessed-charity-fund.
The need is critical, and each of us can help!
Wishing you Simcha Rabbah during the month of Adar!
Chag Purim Sameach.
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