«Tea with the Rabbi»: on the meanings of Purim with the Chairman of the Kyiv city Jewish community Tuvia Shengait in the Kiev Hesed

Assistance to elderly people provided by the ICF "Jewish Hesed "Bnei Azriel" yet for the second decade is not only material and social programs of charitable assistance, but also, first of all, providing the clients of the Fund with the opportunity to learn more about Jewish traditions, to reveal their own potential as active participants in the creative process of Jewish culture. Spiritual help, as well as an intellectual support, are the same important in the old age as food, medical services, and household help. One of the formats of Jewish cultural dialogue with the elderly was the project "Tea with a Rabbi", which is very popular among participants. And recently in the framework of the project was held a regular meeting with our Rabbi, beloved by all the elderly – Tuvia Shengait, the head of the Kyiv city Jewish community.

Our guest is known not only for his deep knowledge of Judaism, but also for the organic ease of presentation. He tells easily, naturally and with humor about complex things – Torah, Talmud, Kabbalah. The lecture of Tuvia Shengait is always an event. Especially when he is talking about the holidays. About our, Jewish holidays, like, for example, the approaching Purim, which Rabbi Tuvia talked about with the wards of ICF "Jewish Hesed "Bnei Azriel" in the framework of the next meeting of "Tea with the Rabbi". Many interesting meanings and traditions of the holiday were discussed at this meeting. In particular, the very name of the holiday comes from the word "pur" (lot). The word pur is non-Hebrew, in Hebrew a "lot" - is goral, and you can ask why the holiday was not named in Hebrew with the same meaning? After all, our other holidays have Jewish names. In addition, the name of the holiday should be associated with the victory and salvation of Jews from Aman. And the name "Purim" (lot) points to the opposite meaning, recalling the lot that Aman threw to kill the Jews. It is also known that throughout the book of Esther the name of G-d is never mentioned. As the Rabbi Shengait told to our wards, the name "Esther" is consonant with the word "Gaster" (concealment), this refers to that divine G presence hidden in this world. And in Hebrew the scroll is "Megillah". The Scroll Of Esther – "Megillat Esther". The word "megillah" is consonant with the word "gilui" (revelation, discovery, manifestation). So, in the very name of the Scroll of Esther we see a combination of opposites: concealment and manifestation. The same can be said about the Purim holiday as a whole. It is named after a non-Jewish word, the meaning of which is related to the decision of Aman to destroy the Jews, and this indicates the connection of the holiday with concealment. But, on the other hand, Purim days are the days of feast and unlimited fun, much more than in other holidays. This is due to the manifestation of the G-natural essence in our material world. Therefore, it is recommended that Jewish men drink more than usual on this day. Although in general our sages do not appreciate drinking…)))

One and half an hour meeting flew by like one minute: charismatic narrator has managed to fascinate the wards who were delving into complicated historical, philosophical and religious meanings of the holiday Purim, which were set out easy, simple, sparkling and with love…

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