At a megilla reading in Haifa, last year
At a megilla reading in Haifa, last yearOHR TORAH STONE

As Israel prepares to commemorate the Purim holiday in the shadow of the ongoing war, the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization together with the Ohr Torah Stone educational network are planning hundreds of community events including local readings of the megilla, with tens of thousands of participants expected to participate.

In its 13th year, “Megilla Bakehila” (Megilla in the Community) will take place at over 700 locations amidst the challenging reality of the ongoing war, including tens of thousands of Israelis still unable to return to their homes. The program will include events and megilla readings in hotels hosting evacuees as well as on IDF bases for soldiers located on the northern and southern fronts. A special reading will also take place at “Hostage Square” in Tel Aviv, with the event dedicated to the safe and immediate return of those still in captivity in Gaza.

As in years past, the program will also bring festive megilla readings to communities all over the country, from Kiryat Shmona to Eilat. All the programs offer free admission and participants will be presented with their own megilla as well as traditional "mishloach manot" packages.

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander, President and Rosh Hayeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone said, “This year we will be be observing Purim after months of battle and painful loss, with many Israelis evacuated far from their homes, but also at a time when all segments of Israeli society have been reminded of the power of unity. The story of the megilla is the story of us all. It gives us the opportunity to come together as one, whether in IDF bases, hotels, community centers or parks, and to find strength and resilience in the spirit of Purim, which reminds us all of the victory of faith in the face of those who seek to destroy us.”

Rabbi David Stav, founder and chair of Tzohar said, “This year in particular, even as we rejoice in the good things that exist in our lives, and there are many, it is all the more important that we reach out our hands and hearts to others in need. Particularly the families of the captives, to the wounded soldiers and those who have experienced tragic loss, and do our utmost to give them all hope and a sense of holiday joy despite the obvious great challenges.”