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The World May Be A Jungle. But We’re Celebrating Purim

March 22, 2024

This Purim, Jews around the world will celebrate the holiday commemorating the salvation of the Jewish People in Ancient Persia, with extra meaning. The festival which is celebrated every year on the 14th of the Hebrew Month of Adar, begins this year after nightfall on Saturday, March 23rd and goes until nightfall on Sunday, March 24th. It’s one of the most joyous days on the Jewish calendar, celebrating the overturning of a royal decree which called for the extermination of all Jews throughout the Persian Empire in 356 B.C.E.

This year, Purim holds heightened significance as Jews experience one of the most difficult times in recent history. The enduring trauma of the Simchas Torah attacks on October 7th, the war in Israel, the perilous fate of the 100+ hostages in Hamas captivity, and the distressing rise of Antisemitism across the globe place a new understanding of the Genocidal Intent of the Purim story’s villain Haman, who sought to enact the elimination of the Jewish People. It also brings hope of the Jewish People overcoming the present challenges and a brighter future, as in the story of Purim, when the table was turned with miracles from the Almighty, the Jews were victorious over their enemies.

The relevance and message of the festival of Purim has never been more acute than today. That is, when faced with those who wish evil upon us, the response of the Jewish People is to strengthen our trust in G-d and turn to joy as a way of combating darkness.

In 1971, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, called upon people in Israel to assist the soldiers of the IDF to fulfill the observances of Purim. The Purim Awareness Campaign has since expanded to reach all Jews, and today impacts people at hospitals, nursing homes, children at school and of course regular folks in the streets.

The Jewish People are going through a very difficult time, but Purim reminds us that ultimately, through coming closer to G-d and our heritage, G-d will guide us through this time as he did for our ancestors, and this is why, despite all the evil, we will celebrate, as we have done countless times throughout our history.

Although the general theme of Purim is all about Joy, the four specific Mitzvahs associated with this holiday are: 1) Giving gifts of money to at least two poor people. 2) Sending food gifts, made up of at least two types of foods, to at least one friend. 3) Enjoy a festive Purim meal, preferably with friends. And 4) Recounting the story of the Purim miracle, by reading the Megilla, also known as the Scroll of Esther.

When we take the focus off of ourselves, and instead see how we can help others, by giving charity and giving gifts of food. When our focus is shifted from celebrating in silence, to having a meal with others. When we remember the miracles that occurred, not just to our ancestors many years ago, but also to us, over and over again.. It really forces us to bring out our inner joy, and slowly transform it into a pure joy!

I encourage you to contact your local Chabad or Synagogue to see what they’re doing to celebrate. You’re of course welcome to join us, free of charge at one of our many Megillah Readings, or for only $3.60 at our Annual Purim Party Extravaganza! This year's theme is Purim Jungle, or Purim Even In The Jungle. Even if the world seems like a crazy jungle, know that there’s something special unfolding. And no matter what, we will always celebrate Purim!

Billed as the most joyous date on the Jewish calendar, the daylong holiday commemorates the nullification in 356 B.C.E. of a Persian decree calling for the extermination of the Jewish People throughout the Persian Empire as told in the biblical Book of Esther. Chabad’s original spin on this age-old holiday has helped bring the spirit of Purim to the area year after year.

The event is a community-wide program and all are welcome to join, regardless of affiliation or background. Children and adults will enjoy great jungle-themed foods, live music, Tarzan show, Ride on a horse like Mordechai led by Haman (in costume), photo op with the animals and lots of fun for adults and children. The festivities will be held right behind the construction site at 2601 Northeast 211th Terrace, Miami, Florida 33179 on Sunday, March 24th.

For party details, Megillah Reading Times or to learn more about the holiday & the complete Purim story, or to help sponsor food for the poor either locally or in Israel, call: (305) 770-1919. Or visit:

The Author
Rabbi Kievman together with his wife are the ambassadors of The Rebbe to Highland Lakes, FL. They are the founders of Gan Chabad Preschool, your local CTeen & CKids chapters, CHAP - an AfterSchool program for Jewish children in Public Schools and direct Chabad Chayil. He’s the Rabbi at The Family Shul and can be reached at: (305) 770-1919. Or:

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