May the Hebrew Month of Adar Bring Happiness, Health, and Safety

Tags: Federation, Shabbat & Holidays

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Today marks one year on the Hebrew calendar since we in Northeast Ohio began our COVID-19 pandemic journey. As I think back to “the day the news broke”, it now seems fitting that it happened on erev Purim.

The name Purim is itself an allusion to the nature of the holiday’s miracle, which is hidden in the acts of regular people. Unlike the miracle of the oil on Chanukah or shock and awe of the plagues at Passover, Haman and his followers were defeated because Esther and Mordechai worked with the community to save the Jewish people. After the year we have just come through together, it is this theme of Purim that particularly resonates for me.

You remember when COVID-19 arrived in Cleveland. There were questions, uncertainty, and immediate need. From the beginning, people stepped forward. No one questioned their own personal ability to help family, neighbors, or strangers. It was selfless acts of all sizes from individuals and families throughout our extended community that kept us calm, safe, strong, and together over the past year. Without being asked, we collectively rededicated ourselves to reaching out and caring for each other.

These caring acts had no geographic or community boundaries – despite the physical distance. And though we needed to wear protective masks, our values were on clear display through our everyday actions. From Cleveland to St. Petersburg to Israel, the hungry were fed; the sick were comforted; and the elderly were supported. Whenever you saw a need, you stepped forward to fill it over and over again. Today – a year later – the energy of Jewish Cleveland has not wavered. Thank you.

The Hebrew month of Adar is said to usher in happiness. May it also usher in health and safety for you, your loved ones, and all of us.

Chag Purim Sameach. Stay safe and stay connected.

Shabbat Shalom,

Erika B. Rudin-Luria

P.S.: If you or someone you know is struggling, please contact Access Jewish Cleveland at 216-292-4636 or online. We are here for you.

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