Shocking Sadness on Purim

Shimon Lieberman relates: This Purim, I joined Rabbi Shisha’s group and went to visit some of the families to which we deliver weekly food packages. I was left shaken. I still cannot believe it.

We danced vigorously into the first house on our list, Purim music blasting. The house was dark and quiet. The song felt awkward on my lips and the music sounded way too loud. The children were still in pajamas! At 1:30 on Purim afternoon!

The shock hit me awfully hard. I never imagined that there are children who lazy around in bed on Purim morning! I had thought that on Purim, all tables were set for a Yom Tov meal. Here, the chairs were upturned on their empty table.

I realized that this family was not just missing a father; they were missing joy, purpose and guidance. They did not care to get out of bed on Purim!

Not until they heard our music, anyway. 8-year-old Nosson came running into the living room in pajamas. His mother rushed him into the kitchen to wash his hands and face. See the bare feet and wet peyos in the picture? That is how we danced with him.

His younger sister stood by the side wearing just a t-shirt with a purple towel wrapped around her waist. She had not gotten up until then, either. I learned the definition of the word ‘delight’ when Rabbi Shisha handed each of them 20 shekels Purim gelt. Those faces were shining!

We left after a half hour of singing and dancing, leaving behind 1,000 shekel matanos l’evyonim and a bit of encouragement. Outside, the streets vibrated with the joy and music of Purim and I felt the shocking contrast again. I could only thank Hashem again and again for the privilege of being on the giving end.

You can have that privilege too! Click on ‘donate now’ and bring joy to young orphans.