Praying Again with Esther and Mordechai –a Remarkable Opportunity for Purim 5771
The turning point of the Megilah story was the dramatic command given by Esther to Mordechai :“Lech Knos Es Kol Hayehudim Hanimtzaim BShushan Habirah Vtzomu Alai”( Esther 4;16)“Go Gather all the Jews of Shushan the Capital City and declare a fast on my account.)
Emboldened by the supportive prayers of her fellow Jews ,Esther prepared herself to take a suicidal risk, to enter the forbidden throne room of the King to take up the case for her nation.
This remarkable moment of communal unified prayer for salvation in the face of existential threat to the nation of Israel has not been able to be replicated in any significant manner –until now.
Let me explain .The whole “Megilah” of this modern day Purim episode is as follows: This past January the State of Israel’s most outspoken and implacable foe, the Islamic Republic of Iran, (the current Persian Empire of Megilah fame ),downgraded the official holy site status of the tomb of Esther and Mordechai located in Hamadan, Iran, as retaliation for Israeli “threats” to the Al-Aksa Mosque on Har Habayis . (See JTA Jan.13,2011 ‘ Iran downgrades tomb of Esther and Mordecai’)
The Iranian officials removed the sign that identified the mausoleum of the biblical figures in the central Iranian city of Hamadan as an official pilgrimage site. The actions come about two weeks after a group of about 250 militant students surrounded the tomb and threatened to tear it down. The Iranian state news agency, Fars, charged that Esther and Mordecai were responsible for the massacre of more than 75,000 Iranians, an event attributed to the Megilah (Esther 9;16) We know, that according to the Megilah , the Jews, by royal edict ,were legally defending themselves against their enemies at the time.
A few weeks after this degrading Iranian “downgrade”, a modern day unbowed Mordechai , Rabbi Meir Gabai swung into action. Rabbi Gabai, is a French-Israeli Hasid who has helped reclaim and restore dozens of famous Jewish burial sites in Eastern Europe including those of the Bal Shem Tov and Rabbi Nachman . Rabbi Gabai has recently turned his attention to sites in hostile Arab countries . He has visited and help restore sites in Syria (R.Chaim Vital and the ancient cemetery in Aleppo,) in Egypt,(Abir Yaacov Abuchatzeira) Iraq, (Kever Yonah Hanavi) and Gaza (Rabbi Israel Najara)
Undeterred by the latest Persian proclamation ( on Iranian TV they actually accused us of slaughtering 170,000 Persians), he traveled to Iran in his Hasidic garb ,on a French passport cleared of Israeli stamps , to investigate the situation in Hamadan and Shushan (where the Navi Daniel and Hababuk’s tombs are frequented by Moslems and Jews )He sought ways to protect and secure the sites. A video of his journey and of the gorgeous edifices and the holy sites’ interiors appeared on the Israeli Nightly News TV on Feb 2,2011 and is posted on the Internet (see Mah NishMah) .One scene ironically shows a portrait of Ayatollah Houmeni on the wall of a Teheran Synagogue.
Rabbi Gabai succeeded in making contact with local Jews and paid reluctant Iranians to make repairs to the Tomb of Ester and Mordechai . So in effect, he personally responded to the Governmental downgrades by upgrading the actual sites themselves.
In the aftermath of his trip Rabbi Gabai and his son, frequent co-traveler Rabbi David Gabai ,Rosh Kollel Chatzot at Kever Rochel ,a personal friend who recently visited the Five Towns, offered to send ‘Kvitlach” (names for davening) to Hamadan on Purim via a local Iranian Rabbi who frequents the site. Despite the risks, our “man in Iran” has agreed to deliver any names collected for tefillah on Purim and Shushan Purim to the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai.
I decided to take his offer to the next level by linking this historic tefillah opportunity to the mitzvah of Tzdakah on Purim, Matanos Levyonim Bo Bayom.
For many years , I have been privileged to serve as a shliach to provide immediate emergency assistance to needy families (Matanos l'evyohim) which is delivered on Purim day to families here in the New York area as well as in Eretz Yisroel. The funds are distributed under the auspices of the Emergency Aid Fund chaired by Rabbi Aharon Pam, the son of my beloved and revered Rav, Rabbi Avraham Pam zt’l and Rabbi Yisroel Belsky, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodath. ALL funds collected are completely distributed on Purim with no monies for overhead or collection costs. This holy initiative which I have been privileged to participate in for over 20 years was founded by the late Rabbi Nissanel Quinn zt'l and Rabbi Pam zt'l.
Over the years, we have been fortunate to distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to help destitute families. In today’s difficult economic climate, these funds are critically needed and serve as a lifeline to these struggling families.
This year, those who will participate in the campaign (suggested minimum donation 18$) as mentioned, will be privileged have prayers recited for them on Purim day in Hamadan, Iran at the graveside of Mordechai and Esther.
In the merit of this great mitzvah and this incredible opportunity to have a gathering of prayer that harks back to the days of the Megilah itself, may we, our families and all the Jewish people see transformative miracles this season of miracles and the deliverance of the Jewish people and the world from all disaster and danger.
Send check payable to: Emergency Aid Fund
Participants in the Purim Tzdakah Campaign can email their pledge amount and names for davening to Rabbi Schwartz at email@example.com. Please be sure to include the amount of your pledge, the Hebrew names (son/daughter of mother: Avraham ben Sarah), for further information, please contact Rabbi Schwartz directly at (516) 225-0086.
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Rabbi Jay Yaacov Schwartz, L.M.S.W. Founder & President Kanfey Shemesh Foundation/Jewish Family Wellness Center www.kanfeyshemesh.org Mobile: (516) 225-0086 firstname.lastname@example.org
Steroid hormones concentration of the preovulatory ovarian follicles of the goose P. Paściak1, D. Wojtysiak2 1JSR Polska Ltd.,42-510 Wojkowice Kościelne 28, Poland Email email@example.com 2Department of Animal Anatomy, University of Agriculture, 30-059 Kraków, Poland Introduction Ovarian follicles are the most important steroids producing structures of the avian ovary. The ovary of a matu
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