Shalom from Jerusalem
In a few days we will celebrate the happy festival of Purim, our victory over the Amalek of that generation (Haman, his sons and others). The Jewish People are threatened with physical destruction, yet G-d works in mysterious ways and behind the scenes, and between Queen Esther and Mordechai, we pull off a great victory of survival and victory. Ever since, we send gifts to friends (Mishloach Manot), we have gifts for the needy (Matanot LaEvyonim), reading of'the story - Megillah Esther, happiness, drinking to the point of real joy touched with a little confusion, and of course the eating of Haman's "ears" (Hamantashen) !!
That's in a nutshell.
But who knows the real story? Who has ever read the Book of Ezra to give some historical perspective? How many people know that the whole story of Purim really centers around whether we can, or can't build Jerusalem ! Its all about Jerusalem, belonging to the Jewish People who wish to rebuild and reclaim the city versus the Persians, the Samaritans, the sons of Haman who want to see the city internationalized and not in the hands of the Jewish People. I recommend that everyone reads the Book of Ezra, before Purim.
One quote to whet the appetite:
"Also i make a decree concerning what ye shall do to these elders and builders -the Jews who are building the House of G-d,and Jerusalem.......that goods, tribute...expenses be given with all diligence...wheat, salt, wine...LET IT BE GIVEN....and anyone who alters this word, let a beam be pulled from his house, let him be lifted and fastened thereon and let his house become a dunghill..." (Ezra Chapter 6)
NO - It's not a fund raising call by Ateret Cohanim ! This was King Darius (son of Queen Esther) who called upon the Jews of the Persian Empire to help support the Jews of Jerusalem, by giving everything from gold and silver to food, to those pioneers and builders who were trying to rebuild Jerusalem, its walls and the Temple.
You see: King Achashverosh stops the building of Jerusalem and the Temple, due to letters of hate from the sons of Haman and the international community at the time. The story of Purim with Mordechai/Esther/Haman unfolds and it's the son of Queen Esther - King Darius who once again (following in the footsteps of the earlier Persian King Cyrus) allows for Jerusalem and the Temple-Beit HaMikdash to be rebuilt. AMAZING ! PURIM - IT'S ALL ABOUT JERUSALEM !!!!
So - Is there are a message for today?
I'll leave it for you to decide !!
It is our 36th Birthday - twice CHAI
(Ateret Cohanim Israel established in 1979) CHAI Yerushalayim CHAI
(I'm not sure whether that means giving twice as much this year !)
I hope you enjoyed the above idea connecting Jerusalem with Purim.
Friends and supporters - if we are to succeed in our "Jerusalem mission" of strengthening Jewish roots in a united Jerusalem, with greater Jewish life centered around educational institutions, then we need the involvement and ongoing input of Jews from Israel and abroad. You have seen the Yeshiva families, the children, the security situation, our rooftop playgrounds, the nurseries and playcenters.
We need you today! For the Old City, Kfar HaTeimanim, Maaleh HaZeitim and Kidmat Zion!
One such way as you know, can be with donations for various projects, especially at this time of year - Purim - the time to give and be as one with fellow Jews. Its the time for giving Mishloach Manot and Matanot LaEvyonim - gifts for friends and presents for the needy.
So maybe consider us and Jerusalem as a "friend in need" !
In the times of the Beit HaMikdash-Temple, this was the period when the public gave funds (מחצית השקל- Half shekel) for the Temple and Jerusalem. There is not yet the Temple , but you can always give to Jerusalem.
SEE BELOW CURRENT SPECIFIC PROJECTS
I thank you in advance.
Chag Purim Sameach for the upcoming festival.
Daniel Luria in Jerusalem (ATERET COHANIM- ISRAEL)
1/ Mishloach Manot for our pioneering and needy families and the students in and around the Old City.
PURIM is around the corner, so maybe think of us and sponsor this religious project that will bring a smile to our families and children.
$360 for our families and students in the old Yemenite Village only.
$180 for our families and students in Kidmat Zion only.
$2250 for "our" Old City families, Rabbis and students.
$1800 for the security guards who work 24-7 to help our children, students and families.
- Children's playground at Flowers Gate,
- Rooftop playground and access for Beit Gavriel,
- Playroom for Beit Ovadiah (Yemenite Village),
- Security cameras, adopting a needy family, supporting our nurseries and playcenters,
- Help create the Mark Twain Heritage Visitors Centre in Beit Wittenberg (Twain stayed there in 1867 at the Meditteranean Hotel),
- Sponsoring our educational tours during the chagim