Purim has a rich set of traditions, and while we create time for immense joy and celebration, we are also obligated to acknowledge that there is still brokenness in the world. The very same verse in the Book of Esther that instructs us to feast and send gifts of food to our friends also requires us to give to those in need:
…לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹתָם, יְמֵי מִשְׁתֶּה וְשִׂמְחָה, וּמִשְׁלֹחַ מָנוֹת אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ, וּמַתָּנוֹת אֶבְיֹנִים.
“…that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, and of sending refreshments one to another, and gifts to the poor.”
On the topic of Judaism’s approach to happiness, Rabbi Dr. Laura Novak Winer wrote in Moment Magazine: “…achieving happiness requires action, doing righteous work for the benefit of oneself and others and surrounding oneself with a community of shared values.” At Repair the World, we believe that helping others fulfill their needs can increase our own happiness and sense of gratitude while also creating a more just world. In order to meet those two goals, we need to make sure that we are doing this service in an intentional and thoughtful way.
We are grateful to Repair the World for creating this activity.