This week we commemorated the Fogel family who were brutally murdered at home here in Itamar four years ago. It goes without saying that our response to this atrocity is to live their dream in building the Land, making it grow and flourish and in our stiff necked demonstration of life and the fulfillment of prophecy continue on and make the dream of Zion come to life right here in the heart of Israel. May it be a consolation to their family and le’eelooy nishmatam HY”D- Yihee zichram barooch!
It is always very bittersweet going so abruptly from sadness into simcha after such a devastating blow- Purim is on the way and we are happy to celebrate it as we do every year as a community. The weather is warming up here in Israel too and the hills are blanketed in red poppies, green tall grass and other beautiful flowers that decorate and sweeten this time. Enjoy the pictures of winter streams that are flowing now due to snow and blessed rains!
Mazal Tov to the Tzror family on the birth of their son.
Mazal Tov to the Ronsky family on the bar mitzvah of their son/grandson
Purim is a time that, let’s face it- we eat more! As if the winter wasn’t enough for us hybranating and munching, the climax is always now- right before we vow to start jogging and getting into shape. A great recipe I will share with you instead of the usual baking and cooking is one that requires only a few minutes and delicious for your mishloach manot-
Healthy Purim Bars- 2 cups of granola- half cup Nutella – half cup peanut butter- 2 tablespoons molasses or honey- shredded coconut and some almond paste- mix together- form ping pong sized balls- place unto a tray that has been covered with baking paper- let sit all night in your fridge- place unto pretty little plates and cover with saran wrap- Purim Sameyach!
Dearest Friends as we approach the holiday of Purim it is a time where we are asked to open our hearts again and fulfill important mitzvoth. The first of these is Zecher Lamachatzit Hashekel – the remembering of the half Shekel. During the times when our holy Temple stood, we were commanded to give a half a shekel which was used to finance public offerings there. This mitzvah originated in Biblical times when the half a shekel was used as a method to count the nation of Israel and it went towards the building of the Adanim – the silver foundations of the beams in the Tabernacle. Today it is a custom among Israel for every member of the household to give in the month of Adar 3 half coins of currency of the country one resides in to charity. Others give the value of around 10 grams of silver which was around the weight of the ancient half shekel. It is brought down in the Midrash that since the wicked Haman was to offer in the future ten thousand kikars of silver to King Achashveyrosh for his final solution plan of annihilating Am Yisrael – G-D commanded us first with the Mitzvah of Machatzit Hashekel to counterbalance this evil in the world with a positive act of goodness by using the same vehicle.
The famous Rabbi Yaakov Halavi (known as Mahari Segal or the Maharil) a 14th century Torah scholar from Mainz Germany brought down in his Halachic work that it was a custom to give the Machatzit Hashekel to support those who move to the land of Israel. Another important mitzvah we do on Purim is something called Matanot Levevyonim. We are obligated to help the poor enjoy their Purim by giving to at least two poor people enough money to make a meal on Purim. The third mitzvah related to giving on Purim is Mishloach Manot where we are obligated to give to at least one person two different kinds of food items. The reason behind this mitvah is to bring us closer to one another and instill us with brotherly love.
With this in mind we ask you to please help Friends of Itamar in its important mission of building up our precious community of Itamar in the heartland of Israel. There is no more auspicious time than now to be part of this special mitzvah. We want to wish all of our friends a wonderful Happy and healthy Purim.
“And they shall make me a temple and I will dwell amongst them” Exodus 25/8
Watch Rabbi Goldsmith’s new Torah lesson for the week.