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Ki Tisa

Ki Tisa


Editor's Note: Give the Gift of Love

Dear Friend,

Weeks before Purim, the holiday spirit fills my home, as bits and pieces of costumes come on and off my children; Purim tunes fill the air; and the little voices beg for just one more hamantash. The dining room table has become Mishloach Manot central, covered with baskets and boxes, ribbons and wrappings, to be used in preparing the gifts of food sent on Purim. As Purim draws closer, various delicacies join the chaos. My kids eagerly help me prepare the packages, ready for delivery on Purim day.

Each year as I tie bows and plan the best route through town, one particular Purim memory comes to mind. I was a child of eight or so when I brought the brightly-colored package to my classmate’s quiet home. It was the only one that she received that day. I knew that my chocolates and fruit brought her true Purim joy and told her that someone cared. Mishloach Manot are sent as expressions of friendship and unity, and my friend’s shining eyes taught me what this mitzvah is all about.

As you prepare your Mishloach Manot, consider adding one more person to your list, someone to whom your gift will make all the difference.

Happy Purim!

Rochel Chein
responder for Ask the Rabbi @

P.S. Did you ever give or receive a gift that touched your heart deeply? Please post a comment and tell us about it.

P.P.S. This week, US-Israel relations are on our minds. Here is the Rebbe’s advice from 24 years ago to a prime minister of Israel.

How to Celebrate Purim in 1,000 Words
This user-friendly wizard walks you through all of Purim's traditions and customs.
The Real Reason Why We Eat Hamantaschen

Let's peel back the layers of the Purim treats also called oznei Haman.
She Is Esther, or Is She?

Esther’s evolution seems to be one of a different nature. Her second name does not, on the surface, bring her closer to G‑d or to her people. It puts her into hiding . . .
Visit Our Purim Site
Megillahs, guides, trainers, stories, essays, humor, memoirs, info and more! Your one-stop shop for all your Purim needs.
Will the Real Leader Please Stand Up?

Where was the Jewish leadership during the sin of the Golden Calf? Why were they not able to stop the sinning before it got out of hand?
Learn the Parshah In Depth
A condensation of the weekly Torah portion alongside select commentaries culled from the Midrash, Talmud, Chassidic masters, and the broad corpus of Jewish scholarship.
The Rise of an Anti-Semite

This class studies the text of the third chapter of the book of Esther.
Riding a Camel Under a Raised Knee!?

There are sections in the Talmud known as Agadata, which relates interesting stories, powerful parables, and coded messages. In this class we look at a truly spectacular tale with Rabba bar bar Chana, where he encounters the generation of the desert.
When the Chassidic Rebbe Danced with the Antisemites

The peasants were by this time a little drunk and had begun to curse the Jews.
Asking for Help vs. Standing on Your Own

Nobody, not even the queen, was allowed to approach the king without the king first calling for that person’s presence
10 Hamantaschen Recipes for Purim

Sweet & Savory
Craft: Purim Characters

Purim for Kids
Printable Purim Crown

Dress up like a king or queen.
Jewish News
Joyous Themes This Purim Holiday to Focus on Jewish Solidarity

With anti-Semitism and terror on the rise around the world this year, Chabad centers are developing innovate, festive themes to gather their communities together and bring new faces through the door to celebrate together.
Jewish Teens Take Over Times Square, Soaking in Sights and Sounds

After a traditional Shabbat, young people from around the world revel in Midtown Manhattan.
Q&A: Paris Rabbi Calls for a New Consciousness in Wake of Terror and Anti-Semitism

After attacks in France and Denmark, considering what’s next for European Jewry.
Q&A: Berlin’s Rabbi: Jews Need to Live Proudly, Show Identity and Fight Ignorance

‘We need to build bridges, not escape hatches,’ says Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal.
Do not judge your fellow until you have stood in his place
— Ethics of the Fathers 2:4
Print Magazine

True happiness is the highest form of self-sacrifice.
There, in that state, there is no sense of self
—not even awareness that you are happy.

True happiness is somewhere beyond “knowing.”
Beyond self.

All the more so when you bring joy to others.