web analytics
December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



How To Make Purim Sameach!


Baim-021712

There’s nothing like a holiday where one is required to be happy to bring out the grouch in all of us. But we should all be excited to greet Purim. Not only because of the beautiful miracle that occurred, the lessons of emunah and the role of the Jewish woman that Megillas Esther teaches us, but also because it’s the only twenty-four hour holiday that we celebrate here in Chutz L’Aretz, and it has merely four mitzvot! How simple is that?

Megillah reading is first. What’s great about this mitzvah is that it doesn’t require a minyan and most shuls have multiple readings both at night and in the morning. Many men read the megillah for their families at home. For mothers of young children who can’t be trusted to stay quiet for the thirty-forty minutes megilla reading requires, even with the help of snacks and toys, the best solution is for parents to stagger megilla readings. Then, one can watch the little ones while the other can concentrate on the beautiful words of the megillah.

If your kids are calm enough to come to shul, they’ll want to go in costume. Many people suggest buying costumes after Halloween, but I haven’t found much success there. The costumes are either too expensive or inappropriate. I personally prefer a closeout store like Amazing Savings, where you can choose from a large selection for under $10 apiece. I buy gender-neutral costumes that my kids can pass down to one another. It’s important to go early though, as they tend to run out of sizes closer to the holiday. There are also wonderful gemachim with a large inventory of costumes for every age and the suggested donations go to tzedakah. The phone number for one costume gemach in Flatbush is 718-989-2275. Again, the earlier you go, the larger the selection you’ll have to choose from.

The first megillah reading breaks the Fast of Esther. Don’t forget in the entire hullabaloo to have something satiating to eat for when everyone comes home.

Once all the adults have refreshed themselves, we can move onto the next mitzvah: preparing mishloach manot, or as is the honored tradition in my corner of Brooklyn, the males go collecting.

If you are one of those esteemed souls whom are bombarded by singing, dancing, costumed men, then I salute you, and I’m sure you have done this enough times to know how to prepare in advance. If your husband or son will be one of those singing, dancing, costumed men, then insist on knowing who the designated driver is before the night begins, preferably your loved one.

Regardless of the traditions you follow, we are all obligated to give tzedakah. On one of your many trips on the avenue, stop off at the bank during teller hours and pick up a wad of singles or rolls of coins so that you won’t be in the position of having to turn anyone away. Some banks in heavily Jewish communities have Sunday hours and will sometimes allow you to break a couple of twenties regardless of whether or not you have an account there.

Prepare a full, balanced breakfast for the family on the morning of Purim. It’s most likely going to be the only healthy meal of the day. Whole-wheat pancakes, eggs, lox and bagels, and Israeli salad are all good options.

Now that those issues are settled, let’s turn to what tends to be the most stressful and over-rated aspect of Purim: mishloach manot. I won’t bother reminding you that each person is only obligated to give two packages with two items. I’ll just remind you that all your hard work will be ignored as soon as the basket is absorbed on the already overwhelmed dining room table of your carefully selected recipient. Instead, here is what I plan on doing. Feel free to copy at will, no recognition necessary: Out-of-town relatives and friends – I send out cards from a charity. For about five dollars or less, they will send a cute card to anyone in America or Israel telling them that you gave matonos l’evyonim in their name. They can usually include a personal message on your behalf.

Teachers and the administration of your children’s schools – If the PTA at your school arranges mishloach manot for the staff, by all means, take advantage of it. They do a great job and the more money they get from parents, the more beautiful and practical the package will be.

Colleagues and rabbis – What’s inside doesn’t really matter. A nice bag or container is all you need to make a statement. Place a wine or grape juice bottle, a pineapple and a package of chocolate or cookies and consider it done.

Female friends – Amongst all the nosh and craziness, few people have time to sit down to a balanced meal. I’m pretty sure I’m not speaking for myself when I say that the best mishloach manot is healthy food. I still remember those thoughtful friends who sent breakfasts, lunches, challot, and kugels. Those items were usually finished in the car. This year I plan on sending a homemade pie and a drink. It’s important to label the items with all the ingredients and hashgochot to avoid any awkwardness. Another idea is tuna on a bagel with a salad and coffee. I guarantee all your friends will pledge their eternal devotion to you after that!

About the Author: Pnina Baim holds a B.S. in Health and Nutrition from Brooklyn College and an MS.edu from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Program. She works as a nutritionist, a certified lactation consultant, a home organizer, and in her free time writes as much as possible. She is the author of the Young Adult novels, Choices, A Life Worth Living (featured on Dansdeals and Jew In The City) and a how-to book for the Orthodox homemaker, Sing While You Work. The books are available at amazon.com. Pnina is available for speaking engagements and personal consulting. Contact her at pninabaim@gmail.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “How To Make Purim Sameach!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Brandeis University junior Khadijah Lynch who tweeted she has "no sympathy" for slain NYPD officers, shown here on "Wake Up With Tayla Andre, "Dec. 24, 2014.
A War of Words (Some More Accurate Than Others) at Brandeis
Latest Sections Stories
Collecting-History-logo

An incredible child protégé and a world chess champion, Boris Spassky (1937- ), best known for his “Match of the Century” loss in Reykjavík to Fischer, will always be inexorably tied to the latter.

book-super-secret-diary

Who hasn’t experienced how hard it can be to fit in?

In our times, most of us when we pray, our minds are on something else-it is hard to focus all the time.

The participants discussed the rich Jewish-Hungarian heritage, including that two-thirds of the fourteen Hungarian Nobel Prize winners have Jewish origin.

Today’s smiles are in the merit of my friend and I made a conscious effort to smile throughout the day.

When someone with a fixed mindset has a negative interaction with a friend or loved one, he or she immediately projects that rejection onto him or herself saying: “I’m unlovable.”

How many potential shidduchim are not coming about because we, the mothers, are not allowing them to go through?

Is the Torah offering nechama by subtly hinting that death brings reunion with loved ones who preceded you?

She approached Holofernes and, with a sword concealed under her robe, severed his head.

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

More Articles from Pnina Baim
Baim-092614-Plate

Everyone has a weakness. For some people it is the inability to walk past a sales rack without dropping a few hundred dollars. For others, it’s the inability to keep their house organized.

Baim-081514

The world sees the hand of God through us, and does not like it.

Maybe we don’t have to lose that growth and unity that we have achieved, especially with the situation in Eretz Yisrael right now.

This summer, why don’t we try to do better and cool off without blowing our retirement fund?

Do we really have that much extra money to throw away on substandard products and shoddy service? I think not.

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

So, my dear sisters in the trenches, remember. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And who is tougher than the Jewish women of today?

People like to say that dirt isn’t chometz, but as Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky says, if dirt isn’t chometz, how can you tell? Besides, are you really going to take apart the whole closet and then not wipe it down before you put everything back? If you’re not going to clean the mess now, when will you?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/for-the-home/how-to-make-purim-sameach/2012/02/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: