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Rabbi's Blog

rabbi 05 smallsf badge lgRabbi Joel Landau  (rabbi@adathisraelsf.org) has been the Rabbi of Adath Israel since May 2013. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and has served previously as a congregational Rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina and Irvine, California. A full biography of Rabbi Landau is available here.


Nachas from my Children and Grandchildren this Purim

Three years ago, my eldest daughter Malki, who lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, came up with a truly beautiful idea for Purim. Instead of making a whole bunch of mishloah manot to deliver to friends and family, she thought that it would be a lot more meaningful to take advantage of this mitzvah and use it to bridge the divisions among the Jews of Beit Shemesh.

Unfortunately, there has been a significant amount of acrimony in Beit Shemesh between Jews of different world views over the past several years. Therefore, in an attempt to reach out to her fellow residents and demonstrate that despite their differences, they are all still one family, Malki embarked on her own personal peace mission. Together with her husband Yonatan, they organized 400 mishloah manot, sponsored by their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and others. On Purim day, they dressed up their five children Bracha Temmia (10), Eitan Shalom (8), Yisrael Noah (6), Emmuna Chaya (5) and Rivka Tova (3), packed up all the mishloach manot, and headed to the city’s main mall.

Over the course of several hours they went from store to store and up and down the “mall-ways” giving out mishloah manot to one and all. People truly were touched by this kind gesture as you can see in this video. Last year, they raised enough money for 2000 mishloach manot and several families joined them in handing out the mishloach manot. This year, they are looking to raise enough funds for 3000 mishloach manot and to get more families involved. This is truly a beautiful way to spend Purim and a great way to educate children about showing respect and concern for other people, no matter what differences you may have. If you would like to participate in creating a greater sense of unity among our brothers and sisters in Israel donations can be sent via PayPal to JoyOnPurim@gmail.com or you can donate through the shul noting that the funds are for the Joy On Purim Project. Donations sent directly to Joy on Purim are not tax deductible.