Minor Festivals & Fasts
We have a children’s party and have also recently had a communal ‘salt beef & latkes’ dinner, with special guest speaker.
Our Chanukah Craft Fair in December 2022 raised hundreds of pounds for the shul, Kisharon and Jewish Women’s Aid – see here for some photos
Click here to see the videos of The Doughnut Man Visits Pinner or here to listen to a series of Rabbi Kurzer’s podcasts for the eight nights.
Photos from Purim in Pinner 2022
Purim Programme 2023
We have a full programme of events including several megillah readings, a children’s fancy dress party and a communal festive meal. For further details of our 2023 Purim Programme, please see our weekly emails or contact Carolyn in the shul office on 020 8868 7204 for more information.
Rabbi Kurzer’s Purim Summary 2023
There are four main mitzvot of Purim and the first three should be done during the daytime of Purim itself i.e. Tuesday 7th March 2023 before sunset (rather than Monday evening).
1. Festive Meal
This can take place any time from sunrise to sunset although most people tend to begin their festive meal towards the end of the day. This is an opportunity to have a festive gathering and celebrate Purim with family and friends. Nevertheless, the minimum requirement is simply to have a meal to celebrate Purim and therefore simply enjoying a sandwich on a busy Purim day can suffice!
2. Gifts to the poor (matanot l’evyonim)
More than just generic charity (see below), these gifts are given to someone in need on the day of Purim itself. I am happy to accept donations of cash in person which I will distribute locally on Purim. Alternatively, there are a number of organisations who offer an online matanot l’evyonim service, including the United Synagogue by clicking here or through a texting service by GIFT by texting “PURIM23 £10” to 70191 (the charge will appear on your phone bill).
In addition, Purim is a special time to be generous and those who would like to give to other charities which may not technically be matanot l’evyonim are encouraged to do so, particularly prioritising this over extravagant mishloach manot (see below).
3. Food packages to increase friendship (mishloach manot)
The basic commandment requires us to give a gift of at least two items of food or drink (ready to eat) to a person or family though people tend to give to many more. The idea is to increase friendship and joy and that is a wonderful thing, particularly when one goes beyond their normal circle of friends.
There is no need to make these elaborate and expensive and, particularly this year, the gesture of goodwill by giving a simple gift of food to someone who will appreciate the thought is the ideal fulfilment of this mitzvah.
4. Reading the Megillah
One is required to read the megillah from a scroll both on the eve of Purim and again during the day. In practice, most of us usually fulfil this obligation through hearing someone read on our behalf (“shaliach”).
There will be one megillah reading at night, following Maariv at 6:30pm and two Megillah readings during the day – one as part of Shacharit, beginning at 6:45am and the other in Gesher school at 9:30am. We are grateful to Gesher for allowing us to join their school-wide reading – please let Carolyn know you are coming (firstname.lastname@example.org) and bring ID on the day for security purposes.
For those unable to attend in person, whilst listening via electronic media (whether video or Zoom) is not a classic fulfilment of the mitzvah, it is still important to have a positive connection to the day of Purim and its story. To that end, our friends and colleagues, Rabbi and Rebbetzen Dansky have produced a video called Highlights from the Megillah and Rabbi Laitner has recorded an explanatory megillah reading – we hope you enjoy!
Additionally, many have a custom to give some money to commemorate the machatzit hashekel, the dues that were given to the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) on the eve of Purim. The Ashkenaz custom is to give three coins which have half the value of the common coin of that time and place, in our case, three 50p pieces. There will be a tray available for this at Mincha and Maariv for those who would like. Simply acquire the 50p pieces on the tray with a donation of £1.50 or more and then donate the 50p pieces back by placing on the tray, thereby commemorating this mitzvah.
In 2022, Tisha B’Av falls on Shabbat. Please click here to view Rabbi Kurzer’s Abridged Halachot of Tisha B’Av that falls on Shabbat and is postponed to Sunday.
We run a meaningful programme throughout the day – see below for recent programmes, run in conjunction with Northwood United Synagogue.
We are proud to celebrate Yom Ha’Atzmaut (יום העצמאות), commemorating the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948 and Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day (יום ירושלים) marking the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in the aftermath of the June 1967 Six-Day War.
In 2017, we held a special celebratory evening to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem.