As we are about to celebrate the holiday of Purim, we recognize its increased significance given recent world events. Megilat Esther (The Book of Esther) tells the story of Esther, the wife of a Persian king who hid the fact that she was Jewish. As the story goes, Haman, close advisor to the king and main antagonist in the story, planned for the extermination of all Jews in the Persian Empire. Haman desired to be the supreme leader, something he knew the Jewish people would never accept. Purim symbolizes the theme of community and togetherness, as we give tzedakah to the less fortunate, deliver food baskets to friends and neighbors, and gather together with family and friends for a celebratory meal, uplifted by the knowledge that Haman’s plans, as well as the plans of future-like “Hamans” were foiled.
As we enter one of the most festive Jewish Holidays, the Purim spirit is weakened amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, causing millions of innocent civilians, including many of the 200,000 Jews living there, to flee for their lives to unknown destinations. As the saying goes, “Kol Yisrael aravim zeh bazeh,” all Jewish people are responsible for each other. Alpert Jewish Family Service takes this responsibility most seriously. You can count on us to be there for you, whenever you need us. As we embrace not only those in our local Jewish community but those around the world, in the spirit of a united Purim, we pray that we should all be blessed with safety, health, happiness, and peace.