As I sit writing this editorial, we are waiting for the students to arrive at the Boys’ site for the HIPE carnival, which will allow the festivities of Purim to begin. We know that the Talmud tells us ‘When the month of Adar enters, we increase in joy.’ There is certainly joy and excitement in the air for an activity that the HIPE team have worked hard to organise.
On the evening and day of Purim, we read the Megilla, give Mishloach Manot, Matanot l’evyonim and enjoy a Seudah. One of the questions often asked is why are we asked to give Mishloach Manot?
The Terumas Hadashem tells us that we need to enjoy a lavish feast. However, in times of financial crisis such as now, not all people can afford such a feast. By giving gifts of food to other people, everyone has something to eat at the Seudah no matter their means.
A second interpretation relates to the idea that when Haman asked King Achashverosh for permission to kill the Jewish people, he said “There is a certain people who are scattered and separate…” However, Queen Esther knew that the secret to the survival of the unity. She told Mordechai to gather all the Jews for fasting and prayer as she knew that when we are united, we merit Hashem’s blessing and forgiveness. So the act of giving gifts of food to others on Purim helps to strengthen our friendships and unite us.
Both of these interpretations suggest that the giving of Mishloach Manot brings us closer to others. We should not just give Mishloach Manot to our friends, rather we should give them to people we have just met or to people we have had arguments with. This will encourage us to make new bonds and extend the hand of friendship to others.
As a community school, Hasmonean is often seen as a big family. I would like to encourage the students to give Mishloach Manot to those that are slightly out of their normal friendship circle. Bringing the students closer together is beneficial to all as we know that when we are unified, that is when we are strongest.
I wish you all a Shabbat Shalom and a Purim Sameach.
Mrs M Langdon
Interim Headteacher – Boys’