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The holiday of Purim is steeped in tradition. I could literally talk about every activity that takes place during Purim and how it relates to the story of Esther and Mordecai, when the Jews were facing persecution. But, the greatest of these traditions is the act of giving, the mitzvah of Shalach Manot.

Send Mishloach Manot to Israel, the mitzvah of giving a gift of food to friends is really at the heart of Purim since it was at a time when we were really facing a tough period in our history. Some twenty five hundred years ago, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem had been destroyed. The land of Israel was desolated.

The Jews had been exiled. First to Babylon and then to Persia, which is today’s Iraq and Iran. The exile had been predicted and documented in the scrolls. But, many Jews were losing faith that the redemption from exile would one day take place. They lived in darkness as they were slowly being influenced by king after king, their lifestyles and their riches were making many of the Jews lose sight of their promise.

But hardship can easily turn into fortune as it did for the Jews, which is why Purim is celebrated. The king of Persia, King Ahasuerus, chose Esther out of a beauty pageant to be his second queen after he banished his first from the palace. Esther used her position to become very influential in the kingdom. She hid her true identity from the king and only revealed it to him when it was absolutely necessary for her to save her people.

Esther’s uncle Mordecai was destined to be hanged in the gallows because of the desires of Haman, the king’s senior minister. In an interesting change of fate, it was Haman who was hung in those very same gallows when Esther told the king of Haman’s evil plot to annihilate her people. What traditions come from these days?

Well, first would be the beauty pageants that take place. It is extremely fitting to hold magnificence events since that is the means by which Esther was chosen to be the lord’s second ruler and in this manner was placed in a position of impact with the goal that she could spare her kin from mistreatment. There are also carnival-like events and plays that certain members put on for others to tell the stories and keep the traditions alive.

Having masquerading and masked parties is another way of fitting tradition since Esther reveal her true identity until only when it was required to reveal it. Drink until you can no longer tell the difference between “blessed be Mordecai” and “cursed by Haman.” But, don’t let your drunkenness lead you into committing other sins. Just drink and be merry.

With so much tradition as a part of Purim, it’s easy to get into the celebrations. But, shalach manos israel should not be forgotten. Giving to your friends is as important as any other tradition. But not only to friends, give baskets of gifts to new members of the community as well as anyone who would greatly benefit from those gifts.

Gift giving is an activity we do all year. But during Purim, it is a special part of our celebration. We faced tough times together and we made it through. Giving of gifts to one another is symbolic of staying together in the face of trials and tribulations, and we have certainly seen our share.

We offer you huge variety of shalach manos israel you choose from. Make this purim more special with our shalach manos israel.