My daughter is already planning her Purim costume. Jewish organizations in Detroit have begun coordinating and planning our Purim parties (there will be one every day Wednesday through Sunday). Our Ritual Committee and I have been recruiting lay leaders to facilitate the festivities at IADS (if you are interested, please let me know!) and the to-do lists in the office cover every detail.
The month of Adar and our Purim celebrations will be filled with joy and laughter. And amidst the spectacular costumes, intoxicating refreshments, and spirited megillah reading, it is easy to forget another Purim observance--providing support to those in need. Matanot L'Evyonim is one of the mitzvot of Purim and, along with mishloach manot, it reminds us that we need to share our abundance.
And so I encourage you, as you plan your costume and Purim party itinerary, to also prepare to give. Please bring a box of pasta to shake as your grogger, and we will donate them to a food pantry. Please consider a donation to an organization fighting for social justice. And please, as you move through Detroit, if someone by the side of the road is asking for money, give without assumptions or judgment. Our generosity can and should continue throughout the year, and one the particular joys of Adar is bringing joy to others. May our entire extended community have a very happy Purim.