Be happy, it’s Adar. That’s the command our Sages gave us for the month in which Purim falls. Purim is that holiday where we dress up, listen to the scroll (Megillah) about Esther’s bravery, and celebrate the continuation of the Jewish people. There’s a lot to be happy about.
In the scroll of Esther read on Purim, we learn about Esther, Queen of Persia, and her uncle Mordechai who save the Jews. (King Ahasuerus took evil Haman’s advice and decreed all Jews in Persia will die). Esther risks her life by going to the king, telling him she is also a Jew, and begging him to reverse his decree. This is another Jewish story that follows the theme: they tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.
In fact, one of our obligations on Purim is to have a joyful meal. There are three additional obligations — to hear the Megillah Esther read, to send friends and loved ones food baskets, and last, amidst all the revelry, to donate to those in need.
The JQ Helpline receives more calls from LGBTQ+ people and allies in deep distress every day. From people left homeless when their families learn they are LGBTQ+ to rabbis calling for resources for congregants in need; from parents seeking information about how to help their LGBTQ+ teens engaging in at-risk behavior to educators and therapists who need specific resources to guide their LGBTQ+ students and clients in a safe, healthy, and life-affirming direction. In the last year the JQ Helpline served over 500 callers. Help us serve even more next year.
This year, as you enjoy the first three mitzvot (commandments) of Purim, remember those in need and please consider joining us or making a contribution towards our 2018 JQ Awards Garden Brunch – our annual signature event honoring the work of prestigious LGBTQ+ and ally Jews who have inspired, forged new paths, and created the highest visibility for our community. Each year our Awards Garden Brunch raises critical funds to support our life-saving and vital programs. Tickets, ads, and sponsorships for the April 15th Brunch can be purchased HERE, while tax-deductible donations to JQ can be made HERE.