Purim is an exercise in stretching our limits. We stretch our physical and emotional limits in an effort to put aside our assumptions and create a new reality where we gather as a community, masquerade as the other, and take care of our friends and the poor.
Rambam, the 13th Century Jewish philosopher, believed that there is no greater and more beautiful joy than gladdening the hearts of the poor. “It is even better for a person to increase his gifts to the poor than to make a larger meal or give more gifts to a friend. One who gladdens the hearts of those less fortunate is likened to the Shechina (the Divine Presence)” (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Megillah, 2:17).
With millions of Americans still out of work, one of the nation’s most urgent problems has only grown worse: hunger. In communities across the country, the lines at food pantries are stretching longer and longer, and there’s no clear end in sight. As economic instability and the health crisis continues, new estimates point to some of the worst rates of food insecurity in the United States in years. It’s a crisis that’s testing families, communities, and the social safety net in ways that may have seemed unthinkable before the pandemic began.
How can we become more conscious of the food that we consume? How can we actively be thankful for the food on our table? And in the Rambam’s words, how can we gladden the hearts of those who are less fortunate than ourselves?
In this activity, we invite you to spin the wheel to take an action to uplift your own heart and the hearts of others. Try to set a realistic goal for yourself and complete your action within a week.
The following websites can help you implement the suggested actions in the game: