Happy Purim!

Friday, 18 March, 2022 - 3:46 am



By the Grace of G-d

Dear Friend,

If you are anything like me, you are celebrating Purim and at the same time you have your eyes on the worsening situation in Ukraine and the millions of refugees.

How can we celebrate Purim to its fullest when there is so much suffering?

First of all, before addressing the question, its important to state the following:

You are a Jew. I am a Jew. We both know that our ‘slogan’ of commitment that we coined at the giving of the Torah at Sinai is ‘Na’aseh Venishma’. We will DO and then we will UNDERSTAND’.

The secret of our existence is that we stick ‘religiously’ to the OBSERVANCE of G-d’s instructions even when they may not be fully understood by our mortal minds. And even when we may not ‘feel like it’.

Obviously, the bottom line for us Jewish people is that we observe Purim during good times and during better times. Unfailingly. Unquestionably.

Now to address the feelings many of us are having regarding what the suffering and how to view it in the context of Purim.

There are  four Mitzvahs on Purim (Megillah reading by day and night, food gifts to at least one friend, feasting, and gifts of money to at least two poor people). Of these four mitzvahs, the mitzvah we are instructed to MOST EMPHASIZE is the mitzvah of giving gifts to HELP THE POOR!!!

The first thing one can do when celebrating Purim while being more aware and mindful of the dire suffering, is to give tzedakah to help those in need (Purim monies through this link will be distributed those in need locally, in Israel and in Ukraine)

or to direct your tzedaka specifically to the needy in Ukraine

This is my first point. Purim is about doing things to create joy. For OTHERS and for yourself. Providing joy to others is the G-dly path to becoming more joyous oneself.

Stay away from the urge to walk around with a sad face and sighing. Having a melancholy temperament as tempting as it is when times are tough, doesn’t help the people who need your energetic help.  Sighing is also not enough. It doesn’t create any positive result.

Action is what is needed.

Physical. And spiritual.

Let’s talk about the most powerful tools we have, to change negative reality.

By doing Mitzvahs, all and any Mitzvahs, and as today is Purim, especially the timely mitzvahs of Purim, we create awesome spiritual blessings for everything good, healthy and peaceful.

And by adding in JOY. Yes. Anytime you are joyous, you are drawing down G-d’s Divine positive ‘energies’ down into this world.

On Purim its infinitely more potent.

By being joyous today, you are fulfilling the mitzvah of Purim and inviting the blessings of POSITIVE TRANSFORMATION into the world.

When its challenging to be joyous, it is even more potent!!!

Hashem sent me a special Purim inspiration this morning.

At the 11:00 AM reading of the Megillah at JCafe I met someone who told me that since as far back as he can remember, he has not missed hearing the Megillah.

And he remembers quite far back… He is seventy-two years old and remembers his parents taking him to the Megillah reading since he was a small boy.

This year, after just returning to Thailand after sheltering from Covid in the USA, and seeing that our big party was called off, he thought that maybe the tradition of hearing Megillah would be broken.

Then he saw that we were having Megillah readings EVERY HOUR ON THE HOUR at JCafe (last reading at 6pm today) and he got to hear the Megillah to his great joy!!!

The Purim Story in Miniature

This small encounter inspired me. for this is the classic Jewish story.

We have been doing this for thousands of years.

We go through ups and downs. Difficult times, easier times. Richer periods, poorer periods. Yet, we know, that as the story of the Megillah so richly tells us, it is G-d who is pulling the strings.

And when G-d is in charge, we are all in good hands.

May Hashem bless our world with PEACE, HEALTH and REDEMPTION!!!!

Happy Purim

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Yosef Kantor

PS this is going to be a long PS. I am attaching below an article I wrote two years ago. As we were beginning to ‘mask up’ for Covid. Then, I wrote it about the dangers lurking in microbes from the inside. Today it is as applicable to the dangers in the forms of missiles from the outside.

By the Grace of G-d

Dear Friend,

Do your best to fight the virus!


It’s Purim after all.

The reasons we wear masks on Purim?

Here is a smorgasbord of reasons:

Why do we get dressed up on Purim?

Let me focus on one of the reasons that I think is pertinent to us now.

A mask conceals and covers.

The constant Providence of G-d, the guiding Hand that is always on the ‘steering wheel’ is also concealed and covered.

The miracle of Purim is a miracle that took place under wraps. It was guised as a natural event guided by political intrigues.

Only from the perspective of hindsight can we see the miraculous in the events that took more than a decade to unfold.

On Purim we celebrate the miracle that wasn’t overtly ‘miraculous’ like the splitting of the sea. It was a miracle that could have been interpreted as being a series of lucky coincidences.

Wearing a mask reminds us that things aren’t always the way they look.

Behind the mask lies something different.

It’s not nature that runs its haphazard course and creates ‘coincidences’.

G-d is in charge.

G-d makes the constant miracles that we call nature.

He masks His presence so that we don’t see Him unless we choose to look beyond the masks.

My dear friends, now more than ever we have the chance to WAKE UP and realize that it is G-d who is the Master of the Universe.

How big is a virus?

Virus particles are about one-millionth of an inch (17 to 300 nanometers) long. Viruses are about a thousand times smaller than bacteria, and bacteria are much smaller than most human cells. Viruses are so small that most cannot be seen with a light microscope, but must be observed with an electron microscope.

Yet, this miniscule, creature called a virus, has the entire world at its knees.

Click to read this story from the Talmud about Titus the Emperor of Rome

Our lives have all been affected by this little nothing. By this speck of viral matter.

Superpowers. Space-age countries. All have been brought to their knees by this teeny-weeny brat.

It seemingly has no boundaries and doesn’t recognize different religions or political affiliations. All are equally at risk. The contagion is universal. We struggle mightily with being able to contain it. Every once in a while, someone gets it and we can’t even find out how he picked it up.

This all points to one thing.

It is time to peel away the veneer of our belief in haphazard evolution.

It is time to wake up and identify the sophisticated denial of a Supreme Creator as being a subtle and genteel variation of idolatry.

It’s time to put on our Purim masks and recognize that G-d is the Master of the Universe!!!!

If you are Jewish, you have a very timely opportunity during the next few hours.

The gift of being able to help the world out of its great time of need.



In connection with Purim, we give the Machatzit Hashekel half shekel about which the Torah uses the words ‘there will not be a plague’, and we pray to the Almighty for His constant benevolence to us.

This year, the entire world needs our prayers.

First of all, let us pray for Israel. The situation there is very tense. The economy is facing unprecedented challenges from the huge numbers of people in quarantine as well as the severe limitations on its borders and subsequent tourism fallout. 

As well the entire world is in distress.

We need to pray on behalf of all of the inhabitants of the world, to send a Purim miracle to the world.

REVSERSAL of the sickness.

Eradication of the fear, panic and terror that grips us and threatens and disrupts our lives.

As there was for the Jewish People in Persia of yore, so may there be for us here and now ‘light and joy’!!!

Dear Friends,

There is something else I want to share.

I want to invoke the memory of a more modern-day miracle and perhaps tap into that miraculous energy of contemporary times and thus ‘draw down’ the G-dly miracles that we are so desperately in need of now.

Twenty-nine years ago in the weeks and months before Purim, Israel was gripped with uncertainty and fear.

Not from a virus. From missiles.

Sadaam Hussein did not just threaten to rain down missiles on Israel. He actually sent barrages of missiles that landed on Israel.

However, MIRACLES happened. There were no direct fatalities.

On February 28 1991 – PURIM DAY 14 Adar 5751 the Gulf War ended the miracle reached its crescendo. The regional conflagration that had the potential to get unimaginably worse, ended with a ceasefire. On PURIM DAY.

The Rebbe had spoken about this beforehand, encouraging us to believe in G-d and anticipate miracles.

Here is an article from ‘kabala online’ about the unfolding of these events from the Rebbe’s perspective.

The Rebbe wrote several letters just after these events, directing us to look at these event at the Divine G-dly miracles that they were.

Not content with simply pointing out our responsibility to thank G‑d for these miracles, the Rebbe encourages all of us to become "even more strongly aware that this is the time of urgent preparedness for the fulfillment of the prophecy 'and the kingdom shall be G‑d's,' when all nations will recognize that... '(the world) has a Master' — a recognition that will lead 'all of them to call upon the Name of G‑d, to worship Him with one consent.'"

Furthermore, in his signature manner, the Rebbe urges everyone to reciprocate to G‑d by elevating our own "daily Jewish conduct to the level of the supra-natural... everyone, man and woman, elevated above their natural tendencies and habits, in the area of Torah study and doing Mitzvos with hiddur (excellence) in a manner of "multiple miracles," striving ever higher and still higher..."

Purim is about remembering the miracles and by wearing masks we remind ourselves that the miracles are still here with us. Constantly. We need but peel away the exterior and reveal the every steady guiding Hand of G-d in every single iota of existence.

Happy Purim!!!!

Do your bit for the world’s health.


Rabbi Yosef Kantor


Watch a moment of wisdom in honor of Purim👇👇👇



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