Purim 5772 - Being Prepared



Matt Rosenberg


 Purim 5772 "Being Prepared"


At Purim, Esther is made to "be prepared" to respond to a pending disaster in her community. Her message is enduring - that being prepared transcends to all potential calamities - including, of course, natural disasters.


 Purim 5772

Being Prepared

Matt Rosenberg


The holiday of Purim commemorates the avoidance of a great calamity in ancient Persia, as described in the Biblical book of Esther.  There we learn that one woman, Esther, took action and saved the entire Jewish community by intervening with her husband, who just happened to be king. 


While we can’t all be married to royalty, we can all take action!  Tornado season has unfortunately already begun in full force and hurricane season is just around the corner.  Nature’s calendar and the book of Esther are both suggesting preparedness.


A classmate of mine recently moved to my neighborhood.  She told me that while she had thought about preparing for disaster, she decided that she did not need to prepare because, in the event of “the big one,” she would just evacuate to my house.  While I would prefer that my friend develop a better disaster plan, build her own kit, and store her own disaster supplies, I realize that I’ve come to be known as the “disaster guy” of the neighborhood.  With that role, I’ve taken on an increased responsibility for my neighborhood when “the big one” hits.  With my friend’s comments reverberating in my mind, over the past few months I redoubled my efforts to increase my disaster supplies and even included a variety of disaster supplies on my Hanukkah wish list.  Thus, my food and water supplies have been adequately increased but I hope and pray that everything spoils and never needs to be used.


Each one of us, as Nechama volunteers and supporters, has an important role to play between disasters.  We are the Queen Esthers of the disaster world, the ones who can intervene and take action to save lives by ensuring that our homes, our neighborhoods, our schools, our workplaces, our synagogues, and our cities are prepared for disaster and ready to respond.  Ask about disaster plans in the places you live and work.  Know these plans.  Learn where disaster supplies are stored and how to access them.  Ensure that your own disaster supplies kit is up-to-date and that you have fresh water in your stockpile. 


When I read the book of Esther this Purim, I will hear the message of “be prepared” and think to myself, “Maybe I need more tarps?”  Have a very very happy Purim!


Matt Rosenberg is a volunteer for Nechama and a rabbinical student in Los Angeles, where “the big one” is about a decade overdue.  He recommends visiting ready.gov right after you recover from Purim in order to download checklists of essential disaster supplies. He can be reached at rosenbergmatt@gmail.com.


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