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Your monthly Phone and Learn
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Issue 53 
March 2014
Adar II 5774
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Dear Reader,

Purim is almost upon us, but before you get too carried away with all those delicious hamantaschen, why not take a peek at some of our recommended  reading for the month, or check out one of the pre-Purim events highlighted below.  

For any tips or advice on sending mishloach manos,

Purim baskets to your PaL, please don't hesitate to contact us by calling 0800 055 3276 or emailing

rivka@phoneandlearn.org .  


Wishing you an enjoyable, meaningful and above all 'frelichen' Purim!


Kind regards


Rivka Graham
Programme Coordinator  
Round Up...

An Overview of Events in the Community



 JLE Logo Clear

Purim Party for Students
Sunday 16th March @ 17:30 £5 for more information call 020 8458 4588

Biblical Hebrew Course - Learn the language of the Torah in 12 weeks

Taught by Gershi Freilich

Course commences: 30 March 2014 Day and time: Each Sunday at 8pm with a break for Pesach 

Venue: Tikun, 1117 Finchley Rd, NW11 Cost: £150

To book and for more info contact: biblicalhebrew@tikun.co.uk or 02089121212

Purim Unmasked: Behind the Scenes in the Megillah

Prepare for Purim with Rabbi Rashi Simon's revealing insights into the beloved yet mysterious Scroll of Esther.  Tuesday 11 March, 8:30pm at Kesher, 933 Finchley Road NW11 7PE. All welcome, no charge


Ask the Rabbi 
with Rabbi Harvey Belovski 
Questions from the PaL Mailbag... 

QUnlike most festivals in the Jewish calendar, Purim seems to be a frivolous event with adults and children dressing up and people drinking more alcohol than they would usually.  Are there reasons for this behaviour, or has Purim become an excuse to 'Party'?


A: Purim incorporates a mixture of themes.  These include celebrating and acknowledging G-d's role in the salvation of the Jewish people through reading the Megilla and additions to the prayers; and building bonds of friendship between members of the community by giving money to the poor and Mishloach Manos - gifts of food.  Another, related theme, is finding hidden meaning in experience which perhaps explains the practice to wear masks or dress up. The Purim feast, a happy, joyous meal, also represents the culmination of the themes of the day, and, perhaps, as the very last festival observance of the entire cycle that commences with Pesach, of the whole year.  It encourages the development of deep connections with G-d and others, as well as getting in touch with our spiritual core.  While there is certainly no independent requirement to get drunk on Purim, it is normative to drink during this feast, as a kind of spiritual disinhibiter.  Of course, there will always be those who take this too far, but the sources remind us that whether we drink a little or a lot, it must always be with religious, rather than selfish, intent.

New Releases
Halachic Handbook: 
The Laws of Purim
Rabbi Yitzchok Rosedale & Rabbi Shmuel Felder
Yehudis Samety & 
Rabbi Yehuda Samet
Glimpses of Light 
Rabbi Yehuda Y Steinberg
Save 10%!   
With thanks to PaL's Judaica supplier Torah Treasures, a 10% discount is offered on every book purchase made for your PaL partnership!

Torah Treasures
020 8458 8289  

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Phone and Learn (PaL) is a division of Partners in Torah*, USA www.partnersintorah.org, a unique Jewish identity-building initiative committed to fostering unity among Jews of all backgrounds. PaL matches Jews who want to know more about their heritage with a friendly, knowledgeable tutor for an hour a week of Jewish study and discussion, over the phone.
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