Thursday, March 24, 2016

Purim at.... Starbucks?

The goal of this blog is to put some spring into your step at the Shabbat table.
(To dedicate a future Table Talk, send an email.)
Wondering how to get yourself and family into the Purim mood? Get yourself down to Starbucks, where you can now get Hamentaschen-flavored coffee, just for Purim. Starbucks announced that the special flavor would only be available in participating locations, and only on the day of Purim. (It comes in a souvenir mug, as you can see pictured here.)

Also newsworthy, Google has announced that, in partnership with an enterprising Rabbi in Silicon Valley, they will soon launch the first on-line circumcision service. Called gMOIL, the service will be available to both men and women alike and will be, for the time being, a free service. Go to

But quite seriously – is there anything more to Purim than costumes and booze?

Here’s a secret that few people know.

1,000 years ago, Rabbi Moshe Maimonides (RAMBAM) wrote that the best way to get into Purim is to give extra tzedaka (money to the poor).

But why? We give tzeddaka all year long – why especially increase it on Purim?

Listen to his reason: the main goal of Purim is to be happy – really very happy.

And there are two ways to create true simcha (joy).

One of those is to help someone who's down - a poor person, an orphan, a widow, a new immigrant (legal, of course!).

The problem is, many of us who don't live in San Francisco don’t know where to find such people...

For that reason, some thoughtful people have created avenues to give, where you can be sure your tzeddaka is going to the very neediest. Here is an example:

I encourage you to give to them, and to be extra generous on Purim, to give to anyone who opens up their hand.

That’s Purim in a nutshell, the rest is commentary.

Happy Purim and Shabbat Shalom


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