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Dear Chaverot, Dear Friends,

We are currently in the Jewish month of Adar and next week we will celebrate Purim on the
14th day of the month, and mark our victory over the Persian Empire and a day when we thank G-d for saving us.

The Gemara in Masechet Ta’anit (29a) tells us, “Rabbi Yehuda son of Rav Shmuel ben Shilat taught in the name of Rav: Just as when the month of Av begins happiness is diminished, so too, when Adar begins happiness increases. The source for this is based on a verse in Megillat Esther which states, “And the month which was switched for them from tragedy to joy,” which teaches us that the good fortune of this month brings about salvation
and goodness for Israel, for indeed their fortune is very good during this month.

At Purim, we emphasize the importance of Jewish unity and friendship by sending Mishloach Manot- ; gifts of food to friends and strangers; by giving Matanot La’Evyonim,- gifts of money to the poor and enjoying a festive meal accompanied with inebriating drink – recalling the fateful wine-party at which Esther turned Achashveirosh against Haman – Adeloyada – until he did not know the difference between “blessed be Mordecai” and “cursed be Haman”.

A time-honored Purim custom is for children and young at heart adults to dress up and disguise themselves — an allusion to G-d’s
hand in the Purim miracle, which was disguised by natural events. This is also the significance behind a traditional Purim food, the hamantash — a pastry whose filling is hidden within a three-cornered crust.

We often say that history repeats itself and this Purim it seems particularly acute. I am sure you have all heard and read the pros and cons. regarding Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress planned for March 3, 2015 on the threat posed by a nuclear armed Iran and determining how best to stop Iran (and its affiliates worldwide) from getting nuclear weapons, That is the sole purpose of his speech.

But how many of you have noticed the date? Tuesday 3 March
2015 is “Ta’anit Esther” – the Fast of Esther – the eve of Purim.

In other words, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be defending Am Israel and
Medinat Israel’s very existence from an Iranian threat on the eve of the day that marks our victory over the Persian Empire so many centuries ago.
A coincidence – I think not; a Purim miracle – maybe. I truly believe that PM Netanyahu should be heard, so that the modern day Haman will be stopped again. When better than on the eve of Purim ?

Eat, drink and be merry for Purim comes but once a year.

Affectionately,

Tova Ben-Dov President World WIZO

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