Dear Friend,

Purim is coming! The most joyous day on the Jewish calendar falls on Saturday night, March 11, and Sunday, March 12. On this day, we celebrate the miraculous salvation of the Jewish people from the wicked Haman and are enjoined, among other things, to be happy. Visit any Jewish community on Purim and you will notice children and adults dressed up in costumes or festive clothing, smiling, dancing and celebrating.

But what if you don’t feel like being happy? What if you’re just not in the mood? In His wisdom, G‑d gave us a great gift. The antidote to unhappiness is reaching out to others and helping them. Putting yourself aside, even for a few moments, in order to help someone else, provides a feeling of contentment and happiness and helps change your mindset and feelings for the better.

Not surprisingly, two of the four Purim observances involve helping others. One is mishloach manot, giving gifts of at least two ready-to-eat foods to a minimum of one person, and the other is matanot laevyonim, giving money to at least two needy people.

So if you don’t feel like being happy, put yourself aside, think of someone else and make their day.

Happy Purim!

Chani Benjaminson
on behalf of the Editorial Team