In Judaism, it is the action that is always the imperative. While significance is also attached to the intent behind the action, as well as to the non-active Jewish philosophical tradition, nevertheless it is the elaborate framework of mitzvot, both Torah-based and rabbinic, that stands as the backbone of our Jewish faith and lifestyle.
As we approach the latter half of the winter season and the Purim holiday, it gives me great pleasure to once again reach out to you regarding a mitzvah that is central to our observance of that holiday, the mitzvah of Matanot L'evyonim.
Matanot L'evyonim are tzedakah funds that are collected from members of our congregation and distributed to worthy recipients in our community on Purim. The practice of giving Matanot L'evyonim has its origins in the Megillah itself (Book of Esther 9:22) and is codified as law in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 694:1). It is the performance of the mitzvot attendant to the holiday, as stipulated in the Shulchan Aruch and other Halachic works, that ultimately give significance to our observance of holidays such as Purim.
I can personally attest to the fact that the distribution of these funds in our community is greatly appreciated by those on the receiving end, and that the recipients are always appreciative of the efforts of our congregation. Last year, we collectively distributed in excess of $2,000 on Purim. Please help us meet this year's Matanot L'evyonim goal of $2,500.
Funds may be sent by mail to:
Rabbi Peretz Robinson
84 Senior Place
Fairfield Ct 06825
Please specify that your contribution is for Matanot L'evyonim. Checks should be made payable to Congregation Ahavath Achim.
I would also like to take this opportunity to mention another mitzvah that is of central importance to our community, the mitzvah of davening with a minyan. I am writing to you specifically regarding our Saturday night motzei Shabbat minyan.
On Shabbatot throughout the winter months, we daven Mincha earlier in the day immediately following Mussaf and Kiddush. We then gather again at JSS in the evening after Shabbat has ended for Maariv and Havdalah. This Saturday night service is not scheduled to begin until at least 20 minutes after the ending of Shabbat in order to give the opportunity for participants to drive in not only from Bridgeport and Fairfield, but from surrounding towns such as Trumbull, Easton, and Redding as well.
Unfortunately, this Saturday night service has been struggling somewhat. We often times find ourselves waiting after the appointed start time for the tenth man to appear, and a couple of times this winter we did not end up making a minyan. Please consider making a commitment in your schedule to help our Saturday night Maariv service this winter. It would be greatly appreciated by myself, your fellow congregants, and especially by the mourners in our community who need a minyan to say kaddish.
May we merit to continue performing mitzvot together,
Rabbi Peretz Robinson