Dear Ezra Community,
With our February break almost upon us and March just around the corner, the countdown towards Purim and, dare I say it, Passover (!!) has commenced. While this may be anxiety producing on multiple levels for many of us, it also sets us on a path towards spring and its holidays.
The portion that we read from the Torah this week and on Shabbat also contains elements of this. While much of the parasha serves as a follow-up to the receiving of the Ten Commandments and contains a series of categories of laws, the text also contains a section which highlights early descriptions for the three pilgrimage festivals that we still celebrate today, Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot. I love that this is in-part a preview for the Israelites to excite them about what is to come as they traverse the desert and reach their new home. The Torah makes a point of emphasizing the agricultural elements of the holidays and the Jewish calendar in general, and it’s so important for us to be reminded of this as well.
At Ezra, we’re also preparing for our upcoming holidays and celebrations. We had so much fun celebrating Tu Bishvat together as a community, and preparations for our upcoming Purim celebrations are in full swing. This coming week also marks Rosh Chodesh Adar, the start of the month in which Purim falls. There is an idea (with a catchy song!) that as we enter Adar, our joy increases and we have lots of fun ways to celebrate the days and weeks leading up to Purim with our students!
For the day of Purim itself, we will hold our Ezra student-led Megillah reading and services on the morning of Purim, followed by a half-day of learning, fun, and games. As we make preparations for celebrating Purim, we are also pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, Ezra will produce a Supplement to the Haggadah, with writing, artwork, and Passover learning from students to be shared wherever Seders and Passover celebrations are happening.
As we move towards the spring and its celebrations, we’re also excited for other opportunities to celebrate together as a community, and in particular, our May 7th Gala honoring community members Sydney Perry and Evan Wyner and the induction of Ezra Alumnus Josh Edelglass into our Alumni Hall of Fame. We hope you’ll join us!
Wishing you and your loved ones a Shabbat Shalom and an early Chodesh Tov, with wishes for a joy-filled month of Adar!