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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


February 12, 2016  RSS feed
Rabbinically Speaking

Text: T T T

A Purim celebration

By Rabi Levi Hoda kov Chabad Center of Clearwater

Shalom to the esteemed readers of the Jewish Press in Pinellas and Pasco Counties!

As this is my debut Rabbinically Speaking column, I would like to take a few lines to introduce myself. My name is Rabbi Levi Hodakov and together with my dear wife Rebbetzin Miriam, we have the great merit to have been co-directing the Chabad of Clearwater since October of 2011. We originally moved to Pinellas County on Feb. 28, 2006, where we served as the youth and program directors at Chabad of Pinellas County.

My wife and I are proud to be celebrating a decade of public service to the entire Jewish Community and – with G-d’s help – we look forward with great enthusiasm to our next decade, and beyond.

During the last 10 years we have been fortunate to have met so many of you personally. You have enriched our lives and for that we thank you.

The current Jewish calendar year of 5776 is a special one indeed. For one it is a “Shnas Hakhel,” a year of “in-gathering.” Once every seven years, when our Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, all men, women, and children – even infants – would gather and listen to the Jewish King recite verses from the Torah, to encourage us to listen, learn, and strengthen our relationship with G-d.

This year is also special as it a leap year. As such we have two months of Adar.

The first, Adar 1, got underway a few days ago, on Wednesday, Feb. 10. While the holiday of Purim will be observed in the 2nd Adar, on Wednesday night March 23 and Thursday March 24, the first Adar features “Purim Katan” the small Purim, when it is customary to rejoice as well. (It is also a great time to try on your Purim costume!)

As such, I urge you to celebrate Purim this year in a way you never have. It is a Jewish custom to get dressed up on Purim! Our sages encouraged us to choose costumes of our Jewish heroes, such as Mordechai, Esther or Moses. This year, please get dressed up in costume and make sure to fulfill all the four Mitzvot associated with Purim:

1. Hear the reading of the Megilla, both by night and during the day,

2. Give charity in person or online to at least two poor people,

3. Give a gift containing at least two ready-to-eat food items to at least one person, and

4. Have a special meal in honor of the holiday.

May we merit to celebrate Purim 5776 with Mordechai and Esther in Jerusalem the eternal capital of the Jewish people, with the coming of our righteous Moshiach, Amen.

The Rabbinically Speaking column is provided as a public service by the Jewish. Columns are assigned on a rotating basis by the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis. The views expressed in this guest column are those of the rabbi and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Jewish Press nor the Board of Rabbis.

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