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Dear FIRSTNAME, 


Yesterday we entered a period of joy with the arrival of Rosh Hodesh Adar, the beginning of the month of Adar.  Our tradition tells us that, as we approach Purim, we enter Adar overflowing with happiness: מי שנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה/mi shenichnas Adar marbim b'simchah.  And yet, happiness felt troublingly elusive yesterday as we dwelled under the heavy weight of the school shooting in Florida.


As we leave for our February break, though, it feels fitting to pause, breathe in the joy of Adar,  and reflect on one of the central lessons of Purim: Turning things upside down, the idea of ונהפוכו/v'nahaphochu.  Purim, as Megillat Esther tells us, is the story of things turned upside down. Haman was hanged on the tree he intended for Mordechai.  The Jews' sadness was transformed into celebration.  The impossible became possible.  


I hope that, as we enter shabbat, we can turn things upside down.  Let's allow ourselves to feel the optimism, possibilities, and joy of Adar.  Let's transform our sadness into a positive commitment to work for change in the areas we care most about, including making our schools places of safety and security.  Yesterday, we felt a national despair over how our country has succumbed to an epidemic of school shootings.  Today, as we think ahead to Presidents' Day--a holiday established in 1885 to recognize the memory and accomplishments of George Washington--I hope we can reflect on the our nation's great history and tremendous promise.  


May your Shabbat and the upcoming week be filled with joy, comfort, and a hopeful sense of possibility.


Shabbat shalom,


Ariela


 


 

 


THE ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL SCHOOL
RONALD P. STANTON CAMPUS

Early Childhood Center • Henry Lindenbaum Lower School • Alan B. Slifka Middle School
30 West End Avenue, NYC 10023 • 212 784-1234
High School • 20 West End Avenue, NYC 10023 • 212 246-7717
www.heschel.org

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