Purim and the Poor
One of the mitzvot Jews everywhere will be fulfilling this week of Purim is matanot l'evyonim – gifts to the poor.
Even though Jews are involved throughout the year in tzedaka there is a special obligation on Purim to provide for the poor. We may suggest that the message of this mitzvah is that on a day when we are celebrating an historical miracle in such lavish fashion we must think of those who lack the financial means to do the same.
The gap in Israel between the prosperous and the poor is an alarming one. It is most poignant in regard to large families who struggle to survive and desperately need governmental aid in the form of children's allowances.
It is to be hoped that the message of Purim for the poor will be understood and applied by Israel's leaders so that we will see relief for the underprivileged in Israel forever.