The month of Adar Bet is upon us and so we prepare for one of the more joyful holidays of the year, Purim. In its midst we stand strong and mourn with the people of Brussels and Istanbul, where Israeli tourists and others were among the dead and wounded in major terrorist attacks, joining the wave of attacks having hit Europe over the past year (click here to read the IMPJ message following the attacks in Brussels).
The story of the Book of Esther, read on Purim, teaches us that with great perseverance the lot can be turned around, and that a long struggle in many cases ends up leading to a great victory.
Over the past couple of months we have been witnessing this exact trend here in Israel. After many years of hard work, at last, Jews of all streams were granted the same rights in praying at the Kotel. Over the same period of time, the Israeli Supreme Court also ruled that non-Orthodox converts must be allowed to bath in public mikva’ot (ritual baths). While ultra-Orthodox ministers and members of Knesset are doing all in their power from having these victories realized, using foul and anti-democratic language, delegitimizing the Judaism of millions of non-Orthodox Jews around the world, we continue fighting to see them through.
Alongside great national achievements, we do not forget the important work being done to promote Jewish pluralism and democracy in Israel on a smaller scale every day. In the coming weeks, Keren b’Kavod – the IMPJ Fund for Humanitarian Assistance and Social Responsibility will begin its annual Kamcha d’Pascha campaign, raising money to buy food and other goods for families in need, so that all Jewish Israeli families will be able to celebrate Passover with dignity. In the coming days, we will send out further information on how you can be a partner in these efforts.
Ta’anit Tractate teaches us that “when Adar arrives, we rejoice,” and in Israel, this has become a most popular phrase in the weeks leading up to Purim. May we rejoice in both the great and small achievements we share each and every day.
With wishes for a happy Purim!
Rabbi Gilad Kariv
President and CEO