Shalom Everyone and Hag Purim Sameach from the Rawlings!!

Meridel (Center) with Israeli Merry Makers!
Well, it’s party time… !
Actually we are commanded to celebrate on this holiday of Purim also known as the Feast of Esther. It is always lots of fun in Israel. We dress up in crazy costumes, or Biblical ones, give charity to those in need, send gifts of food from house to house, celebrate our continual deliverance from evil and read the ‘scroll’ of Esther.
True to character, over the last three days, Hamas’ terrorists in Gaza have lobbed over one hundred (100) rockets into southern Israeli centers of nearly one million citizens or 1/7th of our entire population! These neighbors fueled by “ancient hatreds” work to annihilate us. They are as determined today as they were in Queen Esther’s day. No one has been killed so far and we rejoice as instructed so long ago.
Just think, 2500 years ago, God chose a beautiful young Jewish woman, Esther, to save her own people all over the known world 127 nations states at the time. Calling her people and servants to pray and fast on nothing for 3 days the Lord began to work miracles. Her uncle Mordecai reminded her that “she had been brought to the kingdom for such a time as this.” 
She was to appeal to her husband, the King, with her petitions first. She uttered those famous words, “If I perish I perish!” Bravely she approached the King in his throne room and requested his presence at her banquet. It was during the meal that, she brought her case before him. Haman, the monster anti-Semite, was also present. Bravely she pleaded for Haman’s letters of “death to the Jews” to be rescinded. The rest is history…we remember and celebrate our preservation as a people.
“And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews”…Esther 9:20a
“…to establish among them as the days on, which the Jews had rest from their enemies,
as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them, and from mourning to a holiday;
that they should make them days of feasting and joy,
of sending presents to one another and gifts to the poor.
So the Jews accepted the custom”…v. 22, 23a.
“These days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation,
every family, every province, and every city,
that these days of Purim should not fail to be observed among the Jews,
and that the memory of them should not perish among their descendants”…v.28
So, please join us in celebrating the victory of our survival with a cup of tea, coffee or a glass of wine along with some “Haman’s Ears” (triangle-shaped cookies filled with dates or chocolate).

The Lord Who Made Heaven and Earth Bless You out of Zion…Psalm 134

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