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Purim

Purim falls on February 25th, Friday this year. Purim is the festival which commemorates the breathtaking victory over the murderous designs of Haman. Observed on the fourteenth of Adar, this joyous festival reveals the hidden Hand of G-d in the events of man. It is a day to be celebrated by the entire family. Even the youngsters too should be encouraged to fulfill the mitzvot of Purim. The Mitzvots of Purim are:

LlSTEN to the Megillah. We listen to the reading of the Megillah (the Scroll of Esther) on Thursday night February 24, and again on Friday February 25th during the day time. When Haman's name is mentioned, we swirl 'graggers' and stamp our feet to 'drown out' his evil name. Tell the children Purim is the only time when it is a mitzvah to make noise!

SEND gifts of food: we emphasize the importance of Jewish unity and friendship by sending gifts of food to friends. Send a gift of at least two kinds of ready-to-eat foods (for example, pastry. fruit, beverage), to at leasr one friend on Friday, February 25 during the daytime. It is proper that men send to men and women to women. Sending these gifts should be done through a third party. Children, in addition to sending their own gifts of food, make enthusiastic messengers.

GIVE gifts to the needy: Concern for the needy is a year-round responsibility for the Jew. On Purim, particularly, it is a special mitzvah to remember the poor. Give charity to at least two, but preferably more, needy individuals on Friday, February 25, during the daytime. The mitzvah is best fulfilled by giving directly to the needy. If, however, you cannot find poor people, place at least several coins into 'pushkas' (charity boxes). Even small children should fulfill this mitzvah.

EAT the festive meal: as on all festivals, Recelebrate Purim with a special festive meal on Friday, February 25 during the daytime, when family and friends gather together to rejoice in the Purim spirit.