Purim has not been canceled!

צילום: פלאש90
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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

1. Purim has not been canceled. I heard so many complaints that "there's no Purim this year." So perhaps it's necessary to clairfy: even if it's forbidden to hold a party or a tisch or a large family feast - Purim cannot be canceled, there's no such thing.

2. There are four mitzvot on Purim and, of course, we are keeping all of them this year, albeit within the corona restrictions: this evening and tomorrow morning we read Megilat Esther, send mishloach manot (gifts of food and drink) to our friends, provide gifts for the needy, and hold a Purim feast, if only within an immediate family format. (In Jerusalem, we will hold the Purim feast and send mishloach manot on Sunday.)

3. Not only is Purim not canceled, but it is most essential this year. The Purim story reminds us that even a difficult reality can flip and suddenly turn out for the best, may it happen soon. Mishloach manot connects us with friends from whom we distanced ourselves and tzedakah for the needy is an especially important mitzvah this year, when so many people are suffering financially.

4. The Fast of Esther is also in force. Today we fast in memory of the fast that Queen Esther proclaimed for herself before Haman's genocidal decree was canceled. However, Esther did not only ask the people to fast, but to change their ways and to unite. Her call in the face of the impending annihilation of her people was: "Go and gather all of the Jews." All of them. This call too has not been canceled.

Happy Purim.

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