Monday, 02 March 2015 11:49

The World of Emunah - February 2015 - Adar 5775

  Newsletter 44 | February 2015 | http://www.worldemunah.com  
 
 

The World of Emunah February 2015 - Adar 5775                         ​​​​​​​ |

In this month's World of Emunah:
 
     
 

D’var Torah for the month of Adar
דבר תורה לחודש אדר

It is amazing and frightening to see how history repeats itself.  Almost every century has its Pharaoh or its Haman and every time the hatred is targeting the Jews.  We may ask, why? Unfortunately there is no logical answer.  It seems that our existence causes jealousy, envy and enmity. The story of Purim is a sad one.  Yes I know   משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה:  In Adar we have to increase the joy.  No wonder we have to drink wine to forget the tragic events preceding the miraculous survival of our people.

Our celebration has a very serious aspect. Our Sages compared Purim to Yom HaKippurim.  It is not just a play on words it is a call for reflection and repentance.

The Megilla hints that the reason we deserved the evil decree was that the Jews of Shushan, Persia/Iran were assimilating.  They attended the feast of Achasuerus.  Even the best of them adopted Persian names.

What was the reaction of the Jews to the Decree? 
והעיר שושן נבוכה, the city of Shushan was confused, bewildered, frightened and paralyzed into passive gloom.
There was one, Mordecai, who dared go to the gates of the capital and cry out a great bitter cry:

"ויזעק זעקה גדולה ומרה” (אסתר ד'ב')

He showed his pain by rending his garments, and putting on sack cloth and ashes.

Esther, frightened by his demonstration, tried to dissuade him from such flagrant disregard of accepted etiquette, but he refused.  He told her about the terrible decree, urging her to intervene on behalf of the people, to beseech the king to have mercy on the Jews.

Esther hesitated to break the rules of the king’s court and also her halachic status, but Mordecai reprimanded her harshly; if you keep quiet at this time, salvation will come to the Jews from another place, and you and your father’s house will perish.

Mordecai had a deep faith in the survival of the Jewish people.  He urged Esther to be the instrument to bring about the nullification of the evil decree.  She should do her duty and raise her voice against the wicked powers.  Keeping quiet, adopting a neutral, timid, indifferent attitude may save the individual from unpleasant consequences, but it does not show commitment to the survival of the Jewish people.  There are times when all of us, everywhere, have to raise our voices, and disregard any attempt to intimidate us.  Let our voices be heard loud and clear.  May our prayers be heard by the Almighty and be granted a joyful Purim and salvation from the threats of today’s Haman.


                                                Miriam Hauer
 

 
     
 

​​In the press:

They're ready to face the music for Emunah
February 16, 2015
The Jewish Chronicle

 
From left: Lucy Johnson with Ruby and Amber Lily Jacobs

Sisters at JFS and an Israeli-born pianist are among the 20 finalists in the Emunah Young Musician and Singer of the Year contests, which will be held at London’s Royal Academy of Music on March 1.

Opera-loving Ruby Jacobs, 17, is the one contestant who will feature in both categories of the JC-sponsored event, which attracted a combined entry of 70. “It is quite an achievement to reach both finals,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it and I am quite chuffed.” Her sister, 15-year-old Amber Lily, made it through to the singing finals.
Proud mum Sam Jacobs said the girls “are always singing around the house. They are best friends and if one was to win, the other would be delighted.” Amber Lily added: “We love to sing and the important thing is that it is for charity” — the competition funds music therapy at Emunah projects for “at risk” children in Israel.

The Israeli pianist is Naomi Baslov, 12, whose family now live in Birmingham. She has been playing since the age of four and is a veteran of numerous recitals and contests. Violinist Aviva Sharp, 11 — whose siblings Amos and Anoushka are past winners — has also qualified for the young musician final. So too have pianists Zach Brandman, 12; Leora Cohen, 16 (who will also play violin); Joshua Daniel, 16 and Alessandro D’Orazzio, 11.

Completing the line-up are Poppy McGhee, 10 (violin and recorder); Hadassah Litvin, 18 (oboe) and Yonni Levy, 17 (solo voice).

The singing finalists also include Lucy Johnson, 16 and Millie Land, 14, who have performed with the Jacobs sisters in JFS productions. Also appearing will be nine-year-old Isabella Grant and Sydney Vos, 10, who attend Clore Shalom; Natasha Fisch and Brady Isaacs Pearce, both 14, from Immanuel College and JCoSS pupil Abi Wander, 14. The other finalists are Birmingham University student Director of Resource Development and Social Projects, from the Brodetsky Primary in Leeds.

Visit www.emunah.org.uk for ticket information

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​​​Book Appreciation at Elisheva High School, Pardes Hana.

It was no coincidence that representatives of World Emunah traveled to the Elisheva High School in Pardes Hana last week to be part of the "Book Appreciation Day". It was also very little surprise that the school put together a meaningful and powerful presentation, filled with education, values and love.  Each student in 7th, 8th and 9th grade had spent the previous semester reading a classic work of literature, delving deeply into the meaning, lessons and ideology of the book.  It was a lengthy project.  The girls spent time analyzing their impressions of the characters, story line and premise.  The topics of the books varied.  One class read a book about the Holocaust - "Rootz Yeled Rootz" (Run Son Run) a moving story of a boys survival in Europe during the 1940's.  Another class read a book called "Achi Achi" (my brother, my brother!) telling the poignant story of a young man killed at war and how his family grappled with pain and loss.


Last week, each class presented their books.  The girls role-played, read excerpts, performed dances and presentations, used multimedia tools, read fictitious letters they had written to either the author or the main character, and discussed the book and its content.  However simply describing this way does not do justice to the incredibly meaningful delivery of their work.   On more than one occasion there was not a dry eye to be found in the audience.  The love and pride from fellow students, teachers and Riki the principal was a back-drop for just one way the Elisheva School nurtures its students.  

May you continue to go from strength to strength.

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Eating Spaghetti in Zurich

Under the leadership of the indefatigable and energetic Gaby Guggenheim, the team in Zurich brought together a very special group of around 80 supporters for another great event. The participants all learned about the work of Emunah, enjoyed the music of Eli Deri, a 17 year old boy that we brought from Afula, who also told us about his tough life and the ways in which Emunah helped him to overcome and succeed. 
 
Very fortunately Rav Sharon Shalom was in Zurich for Shabbat with his wife, at the invitation of one of the shuls, and he was also able to join us for part of the evening. During his shiurim over Shabbat he and others mentioned Emunah many times. 
 
This is the indeed one of the most vibrant and energetic affiliates of Emunah today and probably the youngest leadership team in any of the countries. I would like to say kol hakavod to Gaby and look forward to doing many more good things together in this and in future years. 

Shlomo Kessel
Director of Resource Development and Social Projects

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​​​Shmoozing in Netivot.

For the 6th year in a row, Netivot hosted their annual "Coffee & Shmooze" morning.  Dozens of women and their spouses attended a 4-part lecture series on strengthening the family.  Talks focused on family relations highlighting the importance of making time for each as well as discussing the art of learning to listen and respect one another.

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This newsletter was compiled and edited by:
Frieda I. Ross
Suzy Lieberman
Frumet Spiegel Lasry
Debbie Siman Tov

 
Last modified on Monday, 02 March 2015 13:05

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