February 1, 2021
As I write this article, it hits me that with the upcoming holiday of Purim we will have gone through an entire cycle of Jewish holidays during the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost a week after Purim last year, we went on lockdown. At that time the hope was that maybe by the summer the pandemic would be behind us. Sadly, that has not been the case. Covid-19 continues to be part of our lives, but we do know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel as people are starting to be vaccinatThe Monthly Newsletter of Beth El Synagogue FEBRUARY 2021 FEBRUARY 2021 continued on p. 2 SHEVAT/ADAR 5781 SHEVAT/ADAR 5781 ed. I hope that the process of administering the vaccinations will be accelerated so that we can begin to return to some semblance of life as it was before Covid-19 entered our lives.
One of the Mitzvot of Purim is Mishloach Manot (giving gifts). We learn this from Megillat (scroll of) Esther, in which it is written that those who live in the unwalled places “make the fourteenth day of the month of Adar a day of gladness and feasting, and a holiday, and of sending portions to one another.” This has been interpreted to mean that each of us is commanded to give at least two items from two different food categories to at least one person on Purim. For many years, including this year, Beth El has given each of us the opportunity to give Mishloach Manot to as many people as possible by checking off names on a list and paying a small fee for each name. Each member then receives a card with all those who contributed in their honor as well as a bag of goodies. This is a nice way to raise some needed funds for Beth El and enables all of us to fulfill this important Mitzvah. Please participate in this Mitzvah by following the instructions in the email that will be sent to you or by calling the Synagogue Office to have a paper copy mailed to you. Let’s make this a successful project. This year I also encourage you to prepare Mishloach Manot for at least one person (or as many as you like) and to drop off the Mishloach Manot. I think that this is a really good way to connect with people in our community, especially those who are feeling isolated and alone. Receiving Mishloach Manot can brighten one’s spirits and give you the opportunity to connect with someone in honor of the holiday of Purim. It is also nice to see how creative we can be in preparing Mishloach Manot for friends and family members. This may lead to a continuation of giving Mishloach Manot in person in future years in addition to participating in the Beth El Mishloach Manot project.
On Sunday, Feb. 14, from 1–2:30 p.m., we will have a Purim Drive Through at Beth El. Rabbi Nover and I look forward to seeing you and to giving you a bag of goodies in honor of Purim. I have enjoyed seeing everyone who has participated in past drive throughs and look forward to greeting you again in honor of Purim. In-person services for Purim will take place on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6:30 p.m., and Friday, Feb. 26, at 9 a.m.. We will also have our services on Live Stream. I encourage you to dress in costume, though we will not be able to have our costume parade this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. Hamantashen will be available after evening and morning services. We may not be able to celebrate Purim like we have in past years, but we can still drown out the name of Haman and his wife, Zeresh. I look forward to celebrating Purim with you this year in person and/or on Live Stream.
Our Virtual Gala will be held right after Purim on Sat., Feb. 27, at 7:30 p.m., as we honor Drs. Danna and Michael Livstone along with special recognition of our Reopening Task Force and Security Committee. It is going to be a great night. Thank you to our Gala Committee for all of their hard work and effort. The deadline for placing an ad in the online journal and to RSVP for the event is Friday, Feb. 5. I encourage you to participate and help us meet our goal of raising $40,000. Together we can make this happen. Leslie and our family join me in wishing you a happy, healthy, joyous, and fun-filled Purim. Chag Purim Sameach!
—Rabbi Jay M. Kornsgold