“And the Jews had light and joy and gladness and glory” Esther 8:16 (The Israel Bible™)
Israel365 will once again be spreading Purim cheer throughout the Land of Israel this year.
“Purim is known as the holiday of giving” explained Rabbi Tuly Weisz of Israel365. “We give food and charity to those in need. Perhaps most importantly, Israel365 strives to give joy to those who need it most.”
This Purim, celebrated on Thursday, March 21 and Friday, March 22 in Jerusalem, Israel365 will be bringing extra Purim spirit to sick children in the hospital, poor orphan boys and girls and the brave soldiers of the IDF, as the organization has done in years past.
Parcels of foods and sweets, known as Mishloach Manot in Hebrew, from the verse in the Book of Esther will be distributed by Rabbi Tuly Weisz on behalf of the Jews and Christian donors from Israel365 who contributed to a special fundraising campaign.
“When you contribute, we will add your name to the cards we present along with our gift packages so that the People of Israel know that, unlike in the times of Mordecai and Esther, today, the Jewish people have so many friends from all over the world,” said Rabbi Weisz.
In past years, Israel365 has brought not only Mishloach Manot, but a clown to the Hadassah Hospital children’s ward to brighten the faces of young patients.
“Kids stuck in the hospital over the funnest holiday of the year are particularly sad to be there, and were so thrilled to get candy and balloons in their hospital room that they forgot about their condition for a short time,” said Rabbi Weisz.
Other children also are often overlooked on Purim, and Israel365 goes out of its way to remember the boys in girls in orphanages whose families are unable care for them. Weisz and his family brought dozens of Mishloach Manot gift packages to the young women in Jerusalem’s “Girl’s Town” home.
“As soon as the girl’s finished listening to the Scroll of Esther being read to them, they were surprised to find a dance party we arranged for them so they could sing and celebrate like regular kids,” recalled Rabbi Weisz.
Israeli soldiers often are missing the fun of Purim, on base or guard duty. “While we are all celebrating, the soldiers of the IDF need to be as alert as always, so we want to show them how much we appreciate their service,” explained Weisz.
“While the soldiers don’t have time for a dance party, we can still drop by an army base and leave them with enough food and treats to brighten up their day and bring the Purim spirit to them.
The Book of Esther describes the miracles God orchestrated behind the scenes to rescue the nation of Israel from her enemies. At one point in the story, Esther doubts her ability to make a difference in the unfolding drama, and Mordecai reminds her that she was placed in the royal palace “for such a time as this.” These words not only inspired Esther to stand up in support of her people, it carries an eternal lesson for us today. Israel365 is making it possible for Jews and Christians all over the world to stand with the people of Israel this Purim “for such a time as this.”