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A Purim Message from Head of School

Dear Bialik Community Members,

I want to share some brief thoughts as the festival of Purim begins tonight.  

We are all keenly aware of the many very serious issues in our lives right now. On a global level, the pandemic has challenged, confused and depressed us, and the situation in Ukraine is distressing and horrifying, both in terms of the tremendous human suffering and with regard to the future of democracy and East-West relations. On personal levels, we may also be contending with difficult challenges, such as the illness of a family member, a strained relationship with a friend, a financial setback, or a stressful work situation.  

While not taking away from the gravity of what we are all dealing with, we are fortunate that Purim comes along just in the nick of time with its message of joy. M’sh’nichnas Adar, Marbim B’Simcha — when the month of Adar (in which Purim falls) begins, we are joyous.  Some read that sentence not as descriptive, but rather a command — we are compelled to feel joy.  On the holiday itself, we enjoy a festive meal, and some traditions encourage drinking enough to have trouble distinguishing Mordechai from Haman. And Mishlo’ach Manot — the sharing of treats with family and friends, and Matanot Le’Evyonim — the giving of gifts of support to those in need, are Mitzvot that compel us to share joy with others.  

How wonderful that our tradition knows we could use a pick-me-up at this time and how welcome it is to take a break from the seriousness of everyday life while we dress in costume, eat Hamantaschen and share time with our loved ones. Enjoy the day, however you mark it, and try to bottle some of that joy so it lasts all the way to Pesach.  

Chag Purim Same’ach,

Benjy Cohen
Head of School