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Message from Rabbi Knopf for March 15th

03/15/2022 12:00:11 PM

Mar15

From the Desk

Shalom Friends!

I hope that this letter finds you as well as can be. Like so many of you, my mind is frequently on the Ukraine and the desperate plight of so many innocent people. In synagogue on Shabbat, I spoke about our renewed impetus to live proudly as Jews, bringing Jewish values into our world, and contributing to humanity. This week is Purim and I hope that as many of you as possible can join us for our family event and Megillah readings. Please remember the other beautiful mitzvot of Purim:

  • Matanot L’evyonim: Give money to at least two poor people (or give to me before or on Purim so I can arrange for it to be distributed on Purim).
  • Mishloach Manot: Give a gift of at least two foods or drinks to at least one person on the day of Purim.
  • Seudah: Have a celebratory meal on Thursday to celebrate Purim.

It is said that the Jewish heart is very broad. We are called on to experience different emotions at one time. Amidst the Purim celebrations, our concerns remain with the population in the Ukraine and, especially, with our Jewish brothers and sisters.
 
What Can I Do to Help?
At times like this, it is easy to feel helpless. The solution to the conflict lies beyond our control. But here are some things I encourage everyone to do:
 
Tzedakah
Communal charities have been galvanizing supporters to raise funds for the provision of food, cash, medical, material, and psychological support to those caught in the crossfire of war. Although a lot of money has been raised, charities warn that the money raised thus far may not be enough to cover worst case scenarios. Amongst the many organizations working on this cause is Federation CJA which is working as an integral part of a worldwide $20 million emergency campaign to provide humanitarian assistance. These funds will alleviate suffering and safeguard Ukraine’s Jewish community, as well as Jews in neighbouring countries. Much more money is needed on an urgent basis. Even if you have already donated to help people in Ukraine, I urge you to consider making another donation and to give as generously as possible. If you wish to donate through Federation, please click here.
 
Prayer
Please continue to pray for a peaceful outcome and for the safety and well-being of all those who are affected by this war. I invite you to join us at Beth Ora where we say a special prayer each day for Ukraine. If you are praying privately, I recommend reciting Tehillim 121Tehillim 130, and Tehillim 142 daily.
 
Acts of Kindness
Jews respond to darkness by creating more light. Please seek out ways to do more acts of chesed (lovingkindness) during this time.    
 
May the joyous energy of Purim be a blessing at this difficult time,
 
Rabbi Anthony Knopf

Tue, August 9 2022 12 Av 5782