At every Passover Seder, there is a Seder Plate that has many ceremonial items on it, like the Charoset, which symbolizes the mortar that B’nei Yisrael had to stomp to make bricks. If I could add a ceremonial ritual to the Seder, I would add something that represents the splitting of the Red Sea. When B’nei Yisrael was leaving Egypt, Pharaoh started to chase them. When they came to the Red Sea, B’nei Yisrael thought that they would be captured, but then a miracle happened! G-d split the Red Sea in two, and B’nei Yisrael escaped from Pharaoh’s clutches. I would add a ritual to the Seder where everyone pours a little bit of water onto a plate, and then they take a piece of matzah and use it to push the water to opposite sides of the plate. Then they eat the matzah. This would represent the splitting of the Red Sea and also, by eating the soggy matzah, we would remember that B’nei Yisrael did not get wet when they crossed through the sea.
This Saturday night to Sunday is Purim. Purim is the time when a woman named Esther became a queen and defeated an evil man named Haman who wanted to kill all of the Jews. One of the customs of Purim is delivering bags with different types of goods called Mishloach Manot. For our Mitzvah Project this week we delivered Mishloach Manot to diffferent people. One of the deliveries that I remember was our first one and was one that I personally gave the bag to the people. The man that opened the door was really grateful for our bag, and he said that we were doing a really good thing. Hearing that made me feel really good inside. I really enjoyed delivering Mishloach Manot for our Mitzvah Trip this week. Happy Purim! חג שמח!
A week from this Saturday night and Sunday is the holiday of Purim. The Purim starts off with מלך אחשורוש is having a huge banquet, and his wife ושתי is having her own banquet at the same time. When מלך אחשורוש tells ושתי to his banquet, she refuses to go. מלך אחשורוש send ושתי away and then has “auditions” for a new wife. A Jewish girl named הדסה, we call her אסתר, gets picked to become the new queen. Her uncle מורדכי tells her not to tell anyone that she is Jewish. מורדכי finds out that the king’s advisor המן is planning to kill all of the Jews because מורדכי won’t bow down to him. מורדכי tells אסתר, and she fasts for three days and prays to G-d. In the end, she tells מלך אחשורוש about המן’s plan at a small dinner that she planned and המן was killed.
The story of Purim has to do with Anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is when people strongly dislike Jewish people. המן didn’t like the Jewish people just because one person didn’t bow down to him, because he believed in only one god. המן was saying to bow down to him because he was like a god, but the Jewish people don’t believe in multiple gods. מורדכי was just doing what he believed in. המן created this whole elaborate plan to eliminate all of the Jews because מורדכי didn’t bow down to him. I somewhat understand where המן was coming from. I understand that המן felt disrespected, but instead of trying to wipe out all of the Jews, he could have just talk to מורדכי to understand why he wasn’t bowing down to him.
The Purim story teaches us to stand up for what we believe in and what is right. אסתר was afraid to approach מלך אחשורוש, but she still did, and when she talked to him, he told her that he would give her half of his kingdom, which can be interpreted as giving her what ever she wanted. Then, she told him about the cruelty that was going to happen, and he took charge and made sure that it didn’t happen. Whenever we see someone getting bullied, or we are getting bullied ourselves, for the color of their skin or their religion, we should stand up for the person and do what is right. All of the bigotry in our world is terrible, and any little thing we do could maybe help eliminate some of it. I’m not saying that if you see an adult being prejudice or bullying someone you should stand up to them, but if you see a kid acting this way, then you should stand up for the victim, or at least get an adult to help