Shabbos Rest Helps Your Whole Week
On hump day (today Wednesday) it is good to remember that The rest we have on Shabbos is not merely rest from work on that day alone. Rather, it has the ability to give us peace of mind all the days of the week.
See if this doesn't choke you up. Our country will never be lke this again.Bud
boy that is really something
Great video of a Spontaneous Victory Parade in Honolulu in1945.Take a look at this video-absolutely fabulous! Notice the cars and jeeps, youth.The guys in khaki or gray shirts and black ties are Navy officers or chiefs. The rest are Army or Marine. How young they all were to do what they did.This guy really captured a moment in history! (You can listen to Jimmy Durante singing "I'll be Seeing You" in the background, too)This is a super video of a time past - we need to remember and be THANKFUL.Check out the color fidelity. It's not bad for 1945. Nothing will ever compare with Kodachrome film.Click here for the video: http://vimeo.com/5645171
This should have gone out in March, but I missed it. Too good to wait until next year
GOOD MORNING! Purim came up - Wednesday night, March 7th, through all day Thursday. Purim is the holiday that reminds us that God runs the world behind the scenes. (Coincidence is just God's way of staying anonymous!) Nowhere in the Megillas Esther is the name of God mentioned, though there is a tradition that every time the words "the King" are used it also refers to the Almighty.
The Book of Esther is a book full of suspense and intrigue with a very satisfying ending -- the Jewish people are saved from destruction!
Purim is preceded by the Fast of Esther -- from dawn until after the Megilla is read. Named in her honor, it is in memory of the Jew's fast before going to battle the anti-Semites in the Purim story. This year we fasted on Wednesday Day.
Purim comes from the word "pur" in Persian which means "lots" -- as in, "Haman cast lots for the most 'auspicious' date to kill the Jews." The date fell on the 13th of Adar. The events of that date were turned around from a day of destruction to a day of victory and joy. We celebrate Purim on the 14th of Adar for "they gained relief on the fourteenth, which they made a day of feasting and gladness" (Megillas Esther 9:17).
In very few places -- most notably in Jerusalem -- Purim is celebrated the following day, the 15th day of Adar. The Sages declared that all cities which were walled cities at the time of Joshua should celebrate Purim the following day. This is to commemorate the extra day which King Ahashverosh granted Esther to allow the Jews of Shushan (the capital of Persia, which was a walled city) to deal with their enemies. In Shushan they gained relief on the fifteenth. The holiday celebrated on the 15th of Adar is called Shushan Purim.
There are two ways in which to try to destroy the Jewish people -- physically and spiritually. Our enemies have attempted both. Chanukah is the celebration over those who have tried and failed to culturally assimilate us (the Greeks and Western Culture); Purim is the celebration over those who have tried and failed to physically destroy us (from the Amalekites to the Persians, ad nauseam).
Why do we masquerade with costumes and masks on Purim? As mentioned above, nowhere in the Megillas Esther does God's name appear. If one so desires, he can see the whole Purim story as a chain of coincidences totally devoid of Divine Providence. Just as we hide behind masks, but our essence is still there, so too God has "hidden His face" behind the forces of history, but is still there guiding history.
Why do we make noise every time Haman's name is mentioned in the Megillah? The answer: By blotting out Haman's name we are symbolically obliterating evil.
The holiday is celebrated by hearing the Megillah Wednesday night and Thursday morning. During the day only, we fulfill three mitzvot: 1) Matanot L'evyonim -- giving gifts or money to at least two poor people. ( 2) Mishloach Manot, the "sending of portions," giving at least two ready-to-eat foods to a minimum of one person. ) Seudah, a festive meal. During the meal we are commanded to drink wine until we don't know the difference between "Blessed is Mordechai" and "Cursed is Haman." (It is best fulfilled by drinking a little and taking a nap -- one doesn't know the difference between them while sleeping!) One should NOT drink to excess. The mitzva is about connecting to the Almighty -- and sloppy drunks are lousy at spirituality. Drinking can be dangerous. The mitzva is only at the meal with wine and should be well-controlled and minimized.
Why are we instructed to drink this amount? In a certain sense, Purim is greater than Yom Kippur. On Yom Kippur we fast and it is easy for our soul to have dominance over the body. Purim is the epitome of integrating the physical and the spiritual towards realizing that the Almighty loves us. The only thing that stands between you and the Almighty -- is you. The wine and the spirit of the day help us get beyond the barrier -- to realize that everything comes from the Almighty for our good! We may perceive things that happen to us as "bad" though ultimately they benefit us either physically and/or spiritually.
The mitzvot of Mishloach Manot and giving gifts to the poor were prescribed to generate brotherly love between all Jews. When there is love and unity amongst us, our enemies cannot harm us!
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