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Wednesday
Feb252015

PLANNING FOR PURIM

The cellphone rang, playing a lively Chabad Purim tune.  R’ Menachem answered the phone with one hand while, with his other hand, he placed a Megilla next to some others.  “Hello, Yechi HaMelech,” he gaily answered.

On the line was his friend, R’ Pinny, a shliach nearby.  “Hello Menachem, can you come to a meeting of the partimim (princes)?”

“Of who?!” Menachem didn’t get it at first.  Then he burst out laughing.  “You mean the rulers?”

“Yes, I  mean the local rulers who were sent by Melech HaMoshiach,” laughed Pinny.  “You got it.  We need to prepare all the Jews in all the provinces of the king, the nation of Mordechai, to have them fulfill all the mitzvos of Purim in the right time, as Mordechai HaYehudi (the Rebbe) commanded us.”

Many of the terms he used were taken from the Megilla and his meaning was clear: The shluchim were going to have a meeting to prepare for Mivtza Purim – the four mitzvos of the Yom Tov: reading the Megilla, mishloach manos, gifts to the poor, and feasting and rejoicing.

“When will the meeting take place?” asked Menachem.  Pinny continued to respond using phrases from the Megilla.  “In the twelve month which is the month of Adar, on the eighth day.  Please make a supreme effort to destroy, kill, and cause to perish all things which can prevent you from attending.  Your presence is very important to us.  Be ready for that day.”

“Who else is coming?” asked Menachem, as he arranged the material that he would be distributing and which had come in that day’s mail – flyers, colorful Megillos Esther, and brochures. 

“The seven ministers of the city who see the king’s face who sit first in the kingdom.”  Pinny meant the shluchim.  “They will all be there, and so will you.”

Menachem continued making preparations for the Purim events in the neighborhoods under his jurisdiction.  At the meeting he would hear ideas from his fellow shluchim and share his own ideas.  It would be interesting.

The seven shluchim met at Pinny’s Chabad house where there was a nice conference room. On the table were some refreshments, drinks and a bottle of mashke to wish l’chaim and lots of success in their activities.

Pinny: Thanks to all of you for taking the time to come.  I will ask each of you to describe your activities and this way, we will get to hear ideas of how to expand activities in our own areas.  Menachem, you’re first.

Menachem: Since all of the activities of Mivtza Purim need to be with a focus on how it leads to kabbalas p’nei Moshiach Tzidkeinu, as the Rebbe told us in the sicha at the Kinus HaShluchim 5752, every detail of our activities has to reflect this.  For example, we will send mail to all our mekuravim which will say that Moshiach begins with the letter “mem” just like all the mitzvos of Purim begin with the letter “mem.”  Doing each of these mitzvos will certain lead from the joy of the Geula of Purim to the joy of the true and complete Geula.

Shimmy: Nice, great idea.  By us, all the families belonging to the Chabad house k’hilla, about 200 families, will get beautiful shalach manos.  We attached special stickers to the bottles of wine which have a message about Moshiach and Geula.  This way, each family will receive not only an actual shalach manos but also, a spiritual shalach manos.

Yossi: Speaking about families of the community, the secretary at my Chabad house is working on ensuring that everyone who davens by us, and their families, will hear the Megilla.  She spends hours on the phone to verify this with them and whoever can’t come to where the Megilla will be read, will have someone go to them. We have a team of bachurim who have prepared the Megilla and they will have access to cars belonging to mekuravim.  There will be someone in charge of making sure that they are traveling to the right people at the right time.

Yitzchok: We are having bachurim bring joy to people in the hospital, at the police station, fire station, and the municipality.  Each team will have some musical instrument, either a keyboard or a guitar or something like that.  We will sing Purim songs and in every public place we go we will set up a small Purim feast for the employees, patients, etc.

Tzvi: We don’t have a hospital, police station or fire station in our area but we have many senior centers.  We will bring a large group of high school girls to do the mitzvos with the seniors.  This is, of course, in addition to my reading the Megilla in all those senior centers.

Eli: In our area too, all the senior centers are visited on Yom Tov but the most interesting of all is visiting schools and preschools.  We give the kids an incredible Purim experience which they wouldn’t get in school otherwise, unfortunately.

Pinny: How do you do that?

Eli: The method is simple.  We put together a small play with two young guys who belong to the Chabad house, that presents the entire Purim story briefly and in an entertaining way.  There’s special music for the performance and we take it to all the schools.  The feedback is extremely positive.

Menachem: Maybe we’ll have you come to us too …

Eli: Fine, you just have to plan it ahead of time because every day we make one or two appearances.

 

Yossi: Speaking of kids, our cultural center is full on Purim for a Tzivos Hashem rally.  Chazal tell us about Mordechai who gathered all the children of Shushan and the Rebbe asked us to gather the children on Purim.  We recite the 12 P’sukim together, say some chapters of T’hillim, and watch a special Purim performance – a bunch of clowns and jugglers who make merry.  One of the things we are very particular about is that the background music be Chassidishe niggunim and not songs from the street.

Shimmy: There is a lot to learn from you about that point about the music …

Menachem: At the end of the day, towards sunset, the entire community gathers at our Chabad House for a Purim feast.  Beforehand, some of the chevra set up the place, put up a big mechitza, decorate the tables, and the seuda begins a few minutes before sunset with everyone washing their hands properly.  There are divrei Torah, songs and mashke which put everyone in the Purim mood, and it’s a time for good hachlatos for the whole year.  Whatever I am not able to accomplish with the chevra all year at farbrengens, I have great success with on Purim.

Pinny: It’s that way by me too.  The thing is, you need to take advantage of this atmosphere to imbue the participants with faith that the Rebbe is about to appear. Even if throughout the year, they don’t all accept this, Purim is a time to reveal the emuna within every Jew.  Good luck to us all!

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