The Children are Our Heritage

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Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
Psalms 127:3

In a few weeks Israel will be celebrating the joyous holiday of Purim. One of the main activities of this celebration is the sending of Mishloach Manot (Gift Baskets) from family to family. This holiday is one that is especially memorable for children. They will dress up in costume and participate in street parades.

Unfortunately, there are many children whose parents cannot afford to involve their children in this festive time as a result of their economic circumstances. Many children rely on basic nourishment at after school centers, where they congregate in the afternoons.

Israel Today has been committed for many years to ensuring a quality life for all Israeli children. This year, as in previous years, we will be concentrating our efforts to help children from needy families to enable them to enjoy this time of the year.

Through the generosity of our subscribers and readers of the magazine, Israel Today will be able to:

  • provide Mishloach Manot to needy families
  • support underprivileged children, for example, by providing meals and financing extra-mural activities

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The Story of Purim

Posted on 1/15/2013 by Miriam Cohen in Purim Children
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Purim is the Jewish festival of redemption, celebrating the failure of Haman's plot to kill all the Jewish people. Help Israeli children celebrate this festive holiday.

According to the Book of Esther in the Hebrew Bible Haman, royal vizier to King Ahasuerus, planned to kill all the Jews in the empire, but his plans were foiled by Mordecai and his adopted daughter, Queen Esther.

The story of Purim is told in the Biblical Book of Esther. The heroes of the story are Esther, a beautiful young Jewish woman living in Persia, and her uncle Mordecai, who raised her as if she were his daughter. Esther was taken to the house of Ahasuerus, King of Persia, to become part of his harem. King Ahasuerus loved Esther more than his other women and made Esther his queen, but the king did not know that Esther was a Jew, because Mordecai told her not to reveal her identity.

The villain of the story is Haman, an arrogant, egotistical advisor to the king. Haman hated Mordecai because Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman, so Haman plotted to destroy the Jewish people. Haman told the king, "There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your realm. Their laws are different from those of every other people's, and they do not observe the king's laws; therefore it is not befitting the king to tolerate them." Esther 3:8. The king gave the fate of the Jewish people to Haman, to do as he pleased with them. Haman planned to exterminate all of the Jews.

Mordecai persuaded Esther to speak to the king on behalf of the Jewish people. This was a dangerous thing for Esther to do, because anyone who came into the king's presence without being summoned could be put to death, and she had not been summoned. Esther fasted for three days to prepare herself, then went to see the king. He welcomed her. Later, she told him of Haman's plot against her people. The Jewish people were saved, and Haman and his ten sons were hanged on the gallows that had been prepared for Mordecai.

The day of deliverance became a day of feasting and rejoicing. Purim is celebrated by giving mutual gifts of food and drink (mishloach manot), giving charity to the poor (mattanot la-evyonim), a celebratory meal (se'udat Purim), and public recitation of the Scroll of Esther (keriat ha-megillah), additions to the prayers and the grace after meals (al hannisim). Other customs include drinking wine, wearing of masks and costumes, and public celebration.

Help Israeli children celebrate this festive holiday and purchase a Purim Treat for Children.

Click here!

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