Jewish Survival: The Many Heroes of Purim

Jews need each other.  We need a minyan (10 people) in order to pray.  Traditionally, in order to study Torah, we need a partner.  We can’t chant Torah alone.  We can’t say Kaddish alone.  And we really can’t appreciate the Jewish holidays alone.  Imagine a seder without anyone attending! Last Shabbat was known as Shabbat Shekalim – a special Shabbat that always falls before we celebrate Purim.  On this Shabbat, we read a special section of Torah that reminds us of the ancient census that took place within the Israelite community – one that involved everyone giving a half-Shekel to the community.  The collected funds were used to support the desert tabernacle, the symbolic center of the community.  Last Shabbat, we talked about how this census enabled people to stand up and say “count me in!”.  Had the people not done so, there would have been no funds to maintain…