23 December 2011

Natális Poem

Natális (Latin) also derives from 'nature', the sum of the active forces in the universe.*

The word "Christmas" originated as a compound meaning "Christ's mass". It is derived from the Middle English "Cristemasse" - which is from Old English Crīstesmæsse, a phrase first recorded in 1038.[6] Crīst (genitive Crīstes) is from Greek Khrīstos (Χριστός), a translation of Hebrew Māšîaḥ (מָשִׁיחַ), "Messiah"; and mæsse is from Latin missa, the celebration of the Eucharist.

*Natális Poem - Merry Christmas

May the Light of G'd
Be steadfast in the ways,
Illuminating all days

May all the moments
Be filled with happiness, peace and joy
And in heart
Good feelings
Kindness, love and charity.

May the G'd
Bless your health, your job,
your victories
And all your dreams.

20 December 2011

The Chanukah - To Dedicate

The festival of Hanukkah or Chanukah contains a universal message for all people of all faiths - a message of freedom, the victory of good over evil, light over darkness.

The Jewish feast of Hanukkah (Dedication) commemorates the restoration of Jewish worship at the temple in Jerusalem in 165 BCE, after Judah Maccabee removed the pagan statuary.

The symbol of the party, an eight-armed candelabra, acquired special significance for the Jewish people during the revolt against religious coercion of the ancient Greeks, about 2,200 years ago. 

This chandelier, in fact, represents much more than just a religious symbol. It symbolizes the freedom of expression and thus indicates the diversity and pluralism as important in our society. Giant chandeliers light up in public places proclaiming the universal message of religious freedom, as has been done in hundreds of cities around the world.

13 December 2011

Happy Hanukkah 5772 / 2011

The festival of Hanukkah starts Tuesday night Dec. 20th, 2011 / Kislev 25th, 5772 and runs through Dec. 28th, 2011 / Tevet 2nd, 5772 (Hebrew Calendar)

Hanukkah rituals:
Many families exchange gifts each night, and fried foods are eaten.

Hanukkah is celebrated by a series of rituals that are performed every day throughout the 8-day holiday, some are family-based and others communal. There are special additions to the daily prayer service, and a section is added to the blessing after meals.

28 November 2011

Help a dog, a cat or a child? Choices

Tamagotchi - the virtuous pet
Reading about the 15th anniversary of the virtual pet Tamagotchi, I made a comparison with people who love pets more than loves humans.

In making comparisons, discover there are people who spend more on your pet, than spend on humanitarian aid (if and when do).

I understand loving a pet, it's fair, all creatures must be loved - meekest or cruel. All animals have the right to life, this is indisputable.

What upsets me is someone spend more money on an animal than spend on humans poor or in need of food, health and even education. Some say:
~ But my pet ​​is innocent!

Yes, I agree, if you bring home a dog or cat, for exemple, this becomes a great responsibility.

But one child, a sick man, young adult or even humans without education, who become prey to a vicious circle of poverty and neglect, these creatures no are also our responsibility to individual or collective?

If we have the ability and luck for we can live well and sustain pets (many animals require very expensive money to living), why not devote a part of our material and intellectual richness to sustain or provide help for humans in need?

These are questions that seem complicated, but I thinking one simple answer; We need more love for our fellows.

Some persons should having Tamagotchis and allocate their resources to more nobles causes.

20 November 2011

JDC - Ethiopia, "This Is a Soul"

View Trailer - Dr. Hodes lifesaving work in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia is considered a low-income country-less than half of the country can read and write and almost a quarter of the population lives on less than $1/day.

The 1984 Operation Moses and 1991 Operation Solomon massive airlifts transported Ethiopia’s Jews to Israel. Following Operation Solomon, JDC started to take care of approximately 2,800 Felas Mora left behind in Addis Ababa. Some years later, JDC developed an emergency assistance program using medical clinics in Addis Ababa and Gondar, implementing a nutrition program for malnourished children as well as other health-related initiatives. As of December 2009, JDC’s clinic in Gondar is tending to the medical needs of the more than 9,000 Felas Mora awaiting emigration from Gondar to Israel.

Poor sanitation and a lack of access to modern medical treatments and education are among the crippling challenges facing Ethiopia.

JDC—through its global non-sectarian arm, JDC-IDP—lends its expertise in public health and education. Efforts include:

- Raising sanitation standards by building water wells, latrines, and irrigation systems.
- Life-saving medical programs, including heart and spinal surgeries as well as treatment for Hodgkin’s disease.
- Construction of 6 schools in rural Ethiopia and launching of a university scholarship program for young women.

JDC’s humanitarian initiatives have reached many people in the communities of Addis Ababa and Gondar with critical help:

- Thousands of individuals are receiving medical care through JDC’s newly opened clinic in Gondar.
- Dozens of children have successfully undergone spinal surgeries or cancer treatment through JDC’s partnership with the Mother Teresa Care Center
- Nine wells have been built and are providing clean drinking water for villages in the Gondar region.
- Hundreds of children now study in comfortable conditions in the rural schools recently built by JDC.
- 30 needy students have received scholarships to complete their university studies; 24 for completion of their nursing studies.

Support Dr. Rick Hodes' Lifesaving Work - Donete now

Check Out New Book: This Is a Soul: The Mission of Rick Hodes, by Marilyn Berger.

30 October 2011

Jewish Joint Distribution Committee - Brazil

In 1636, Jews built the Kahal Zur synagogue in Recife/Br
Jewish history in Brazil dates back to the time of the voyages of Christopher Columbus. Gaspar da Gama, a Jew by birth, but later kidnaped and forcibly baptized, accompanied Portuguese admiral Pedro Alvares Cabral when he landed in what is now Brazil in 1500, beginning a more than 500-year presence in the New World.

Brazil is the largest country in South America, occupying half of the continent’s land mass. It is also the largest economy in the region. Formed primarily after 1920, Brazil’s Jewish population is currently the 10th largest in the world. Ethnically diverse in origin, its Ashkenazic component is primarily of Polish and German descent, while much of the Sephardic population is of Egyptian descent. Nearly all Jews live in urban areas, with São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, having the largest Jewish community, followed by Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre.

Brazil is a federation; consequently, the Jews in each state have an organization of their own. The central body representing all Jewish federations and communities in Brazil is the Confederação Israelita do Brasil (CONIB), founded in 1951. This umbrella organization includes 200 associations engaged in promoting Zionist activity, Jewish education, culture, and charity.

Income disparity is a major problem throughout Brazil, including in its Jewish communities. There is a need to create development and income opportunities to ensure a self-sustainable future. Attention to the enrichment of Jewish culture and heritage is also needed.

JDC acts as a partner and consultant to the Jewish communities of Brazil, helping to enhance services, community development initiatives, and outreach activities. JDC’s efforts include:

Opening the Ariel Job Center in Porto Alegre, which provides training and job placement help
Monitoring a microloan fund for the community of São Paulo
Workshops for small Jewish communities in the country’s interior

JDC support is enriching Jewish community development in Brazil through training programs and exchanges. These include:
- The 2nd Latin American Conference for Homes and Day Centers for the Elderly, held in São Paulo in November 2009, brought together representatives from Jewish care facilities in eight Latin American countries
The Albert Einstein Jewish Home for the Aged and Hospital in São Paulo—the largest Jewish hospital in Latin America—partnered with JDC for the event

07 October 2011

Yom Kippur - "Day of Atonement"

"In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and you shall not do any work ... For on that day he shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you from all your sins before the LORD. - Leviticus 16:29-30"

Yom Kippur, starts at day 9 and ends on 10 of Tishrei, 5772 (Jewish Year).
In 2011 starts at sundown on Friday night 7 October. (Kol Nidre), and lasts all day Saturday 8 October, 2011 until sundown.

The name "Yom Kippur" means "Day of Atonement" and that pretty much explains what the holiday is. It is a day set aside to "afflict the soul," to atone for the sins of the past year. In "days of awe", I mentioned the "books" in which G-d inscribes all of our names. On Yom Kippur, the judgment entered in these books is sealed. This day is, essentially, your last appeal, your last chance to change the judgment, to demonstrate your repentance and make amends.

- As I noted in Days of Awe, Yom Kippur atones only for sins between man and G-d, not for sins against another person. To atone for sins against another person, you must first seek reconciliation with that person, righting the wrongs you committed against them if possible. That must all be done before Yom Kippur.

- Yom Kippur is a complete Sabbath; no work can be performed on that day. It is well-known that you are supposed to refrain from eating and drinking (even water) on Yom Kippur. It is a complete, 25-hour fast beginning before sunset on the evening before Yom Kippur and ending after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur.

- Most of the holiday is spent in the synagogue, in prayer. The services end at nightfall, with the blowing of the tekiah gedolah, a long blast on the shofar. It is customary to wear white on the holiday, which symbolizes purity and calls to mind the promise that our sins shall be made as white as snow (Is. 1:18). Some people wear a kittel, the white robe in which the dead are buried.

- The liturgy for Yom Kippur is much more extensive than for any other day of the year. This prayer book is called the 'Machzor'. The evening service that begins Yom Kippur is commonly known as Kol Nidre, named for the prayer that begins the service. "Kol nidre" means "all vows," and in this prayer, we ask G-d to annul all personal vows we may make in the next year. It refers only to vows between the person making them and G-d, such as "If I pass this test, I'll pray every day for the next 6 months!"

- There are many additions to the regular liturgy. Perhaps the most important addition is the confession of the sins of the community, which is inserted into the Shemoneh Esrei (Amidah) prayer, all sins are confessed in the plural (we have done this, we have done that), emphasizing communal responsibility for sins.

After Yom Kippur, one should begin preparing for the next holiday, Sukkot, which begins five days later.

04 October 2011

The power of healing - Arabs and Jews

Look how Israel treats its Arab minority 
(Part 2 - The power of healing)
Original post by Michael Ordman
(some highlights)

Let’s begin in hospital. Israeli Arabs comprise 20% of the population of the Jewish State, therefore 20% of all hospital treatment benefits Israeli Arabs directly. This ranges from standard procedures through to life-saving operations and everything in between - there is no discrimination whatsoever.

In August last year, a Bedouin Arab couple's newborn son was saved by sophisticated treatment, which included days of being connected to a $200,000 heart-lung machine at Sheba Medical Centre’s children’s hospital. In December, Rehovot surgeons saved the life of an Arab construction worker who was impaled for 4 hours on a metal rod.

When any donor organ becomes available, the Israel Transplant computer checks all waiting recipients for suitability. So when Gamal Haja from Nazareth died from a stroke, his sister was amazed and consoled when she was notified that she would receive one of his kidneys. And the tragic death in a car crash of an East Jerusalem Arab boy was somewhat alleviated when his parents agreed to donate his organs, thus saving 3 people including an 8 year old Jewish girl and a 7 year old Arab boy. And just this month, Nabil Hourani’s lungs breathed new life into an Arab and a Jew following his death from a cerebral hemorrhage. Hourani's brother said. ‘My brother now lives on, in both Arabs and Jews, and this is very important to me’.

Israeli hospitals are centres for programs that provide benefit to both Arabs and Jews. Hospitals provide National Service opportunities to Arabs who don’t serve in the IDF, such as Nizar Elkoury and Lubna Kadry – two Arabs who happily perform their duties at the Rambam hospital in Haifa. Hadassah Hospital’s Dr Simcha Chesner has enlisted the Israeli Ministry of Education to use his Idud program to help Arab and Jewish children with ADHD achieve their full potential.

Israel has also some unique facilities for Arabs with specific medical conditions. The first (and so far only) registry for potential unrelated Arab donors of bone marrow or stem cells – which have the ability to cure cancers and other serious disorders – is at Hadassah University Medical Centre in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem. Israel is also the only country in the world where genetic testing is directly funded by the government. These tests greatly reduce child mortality in the Arab Bedouin population. So it is not surprising that infant mortality of Israeli Arabs has been reduced dramatically and Arabs here live noticeably longer on average than Americans. The average lifespan of Arabs has increased by a massive seven years since 1980.

Israeli funded tests for genetic disorders benefits Bedouin Arabs

The organisation Dental Volunteers for Israel runs a paediatric dental clinic in Jerusalem. Its multi-ethnic treatment policy is summed up by one of their supporters, the artist Lynne Stein - ‘Everybody smiles in the same language.’ To emphasise Israel’s inclusiveness, please watch this video of disabled Arabs & Jews working together. A unique (and profitable) Israeli call centre employs 150 Jewish and 30 Arab physically and mentally disabled adults. ‘Call Yachol’ translates as ‘everyone is able’.

I want to end by singling out Arab Israelis who are shining examples of Israel’s all-embracing society. In May, five Arab girl students from a school in the Galilee, who developed a groundbreaking device to ease side effects of cancer patients, represented Israel in an international competition in Netherlands. Next, Dr Rania Elkhatib is the first Israeli Arab woman to become a plastic surgeon. In fact she says, in this video clip, that she is the first Arab woman to become a plastic surgeon anywhere!

I will leave the final words to Dr. Hossam Haick from the Israel Technion who has pioneered early cancer detection using breath tests. ‘I was born here. I am tied to Israel. I also want to prove to others from the Arab community that nothing is impossible. You hear quite a few prejudices from Arab-Israelis; that Arabs cannot get ahead in Israeli academia. I wanted to prove that this is not true; to prove that if you are talented enough, you get to wherever you want.’ - Please also watch him on this video clip.

Michael Ordman writes a weekly newsletter containing Good News stories about Israel.

25 August 2011

How to Help Somalia

Options For Famine Relief
In the scorched-by-drought Horn of Africa, the famine continues to take its biggest toll on the most vulnerable. In southern Somalia alone, the crisis has killed 29,000 young children in the last 90 days

Many organizations and funds have mobilized to provide relief:

UNHCR has asked for $136.3 million and suggests donations such as $7, which provides therapeutic food for a malnourished child.

The British Red Cross and The Kenya Red Cross are both accepting funds online or through mail to first mitigate the crisis and then help people in the region restore their livelihoods.

Mercy Corps has helped deliver water to 16 Kenyan villages in the last few days, providing relief to almost 120,000 people. The organization is accepting donations to continue expanding its work.

Oxfam, in conjunction with Save The Children, is appealing for $144 million. Any amount is welcome, but the Oxfam site suggests $50 to provide 200 people a day's supply of clean water or $100 to feed a family of six more than two weeks.

The International Rescue Committee is accepting donations that will provide medical screenings, expand water-supply systems and offer help for pregnant women, among other efforts.

The ELCA World Hunger Relief is accepting donations to provide immediate aid to refugee camps in the Horn of Africa. One hundred percent of donations will be used for regional relief, including filling a food distribution gap by providing enriched porridge to children and the elderly who are too weak to eat dry food.

A donation to Action Aid will help deliver emergency supplies of food and water, and provide support, ensuring people don't become reliant on food aid.

The U.N. Children's Fund asks for help in assisting the more than 2 million children who are malnourished.

International Medical Corps' is accepting donations as it ships food and oil to four refugee camps. The Corps will also construct additional latrines and bathing areas.

IsrAID - The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid

22 August 2011

Repair the world: Long Term Service

Tikkun Olam (Repair the World)
Framed Print by Gad Almaliah
The phrase in hebrew "Tikkun Olam" - Repair the world, was first used to refer to social action work in the 1950s. In subsequent decades, many other organizations and thinkers have used the term to refer to social action programs; Tzedakah (charitable giving) and Gemilut Hasadim (Acts of Kindness) and progressive Jewish approaches to social issues. It eventually became re-associated with kabbalah, and thus for some with deeper theological meaning.

No matter how you can help, a little, more or less, or whenever. The important thing is to help with love and truly dedication, believing that a small spark can ignite the fire that will light up and restore the world.

LONG TERM SERVICE (3 months-2 years)

Are many program opportunities geared towards making a long-term difference in a community. The Jewish community also has several long-term service fellowships like Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps, the JDC’s Jewish Service Corps and Ralph I. Goldman Fellowship, Adamah the Jewish Environmental Fellowship, and the Jewish Organizing Initiative (JOI).

PUBLIC SERVICE (1 year-a lifetime)

Most people identify public service as governmental work — everything from being a firefighter to running for elected office. But working for a non-profit is another meaningful form of public service that allows you to be directly involved in the life of a change-making organization.


- Non-Profit: If you have the financial resources to give big — great! — but you do not need a million dollars to support the work of an organization. Virtually all non-profits have links on their website that allow you to give as little or as much as you can online. And don’t just wait until the end of the year – your donation is important all year round.

- Micro-Loan: Donating through micro-loan organizations like Kiva extends the life of your gift. The money you give supports new business ventures in developing countries, and eventually is paid back, allowing you to “re-donate” the funds to someone else.

- In-Kind: Giving charity is not just about money. You can also donate goods like an old car, clothing, cell phone or computer to directly provide for people in need, or support the work of a start-up organization.

The framed print above, you can find it here: Gallery Judaica

18 August 2011

Repair the world: Short Term Service

Get Involved - Want to repair the world? Whether you have five minutes, an afternoon, a year, or an entire lifetime to devote to service and social justice, you can make a difference.

Exist different ways to get involved on the important issues:

SHORT TERM SERVICE (1 day-3 months)

One-time volunteer:
Many direct-service projects simply require that you show up once, or commit for a week-long project: to paint a house, serve dinner at a shelter, plant trees in a neighborhood park, visit residents in the VA hospital, or flier for a organization.

Alternative Spring Break: 
Spending a winter or spring break engaged in service is becoming increasingly popular amongst college students. In addition to getting a tan, participants get to make a difference in a community and meet other students from across the country. Interested? Check out the alternative break programs through American Jewish World Service (AJWS), Hillel, Jewish Farm School (JFS), Jewish National Fund (JNF), Jewish Funds for Justice (JSFJ) and the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).

Project Organizing:
Organizing a discrete project — like a canned food drive, a fundraiser, installing solar panels on your home, or inviting a speaker to educate your community — takes a bit of time and planning, but the payoff is worth the extra effort.

Whether it’s for an issue you care about or a politician you believe in, signing on to volunteer for a campaign is a direct way to make a sustained impact.

Joining a walkathon like the AIDS Walk or bikeathon like Hazon’s Jewish environmental bike ride is a profound way to raise both money and awareness for an organization or cause, while having an amazing time.

17 August 2011

Repair the world: Get Involved - Quick Service

“It is not incumbent upon you to complete the work, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it.” (Avot 2:21)

Want to repair the world, but feel overwhelmed or unsure about where and how to start? Whether you have five minutes, an afternoon, a year or an entire lifetime to devote to service and social justice, you can make a vital difference. The categorie below outline different ways to get involved on the issues that matter to you.

Whether you have five minutes or an entire lifetime to devote to service, you can make a vital difference.


Taking a moment to sign a petition on a topic you care about is always worth the time. If you receive the petition over email, Facebook or Twitter, an extra 30 seconds lets you forward it along to friends and continue spreading the word.

Phone call:
Calling a representative is easier than it sounds and something you can do on your lunch break, walking between classes or meetings, or from the privacy of your home. The non-partisan news and civic engagement organization, Congress.org can connect you to an issue. Then, find your representative’s contact information here and call, email or tweet them your message.

Apps: Have an iPhone or similar?
There are hundreds of service and social justice-related apps that can connect you to information and ways to get involved in a few seconds. If you’re iPhone free, the website The Extraordinaries links you to “micro-volunteering” opportunities that you can complete from your computer in a few minutes.

15 August 2011

Tu B'Av / Hag HaAhava - Holiday of love

Tu B'Av - Hag HaAhava
Tu B'Av, the 15th Day of Av, is both an ancient and modern holiday

The fifteenth day of the month of Av, is a Day of Love in Judaism. (in this year; Monday, August 15, 2011 - Hebrew Date: Yom Sheni, 15 Av, 5771).

Originally a post-biblical day of joy, it served as a matchmaking day for unmarried women in the second Temple period (before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.). Tu B'Av was almost unnoticed in the Jewish calendar for many centuries but it has been rejuvenated in recent decades, especially in the modern state of Israel. In its modern incarnation it is gradually becoming a Hebrew-Jewish Day of Love, slightly resembling Valentine's Day in English-speaking countries.

There is no way to know exactly how early Tu B'Av began. The first mention of this date is in the Mishnah (compiled and edited in the end of the second century), where Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel is quoted saying; "There were no better (i.e. happier) days for the people of Israel than the Fifteenth of Av and Yom Kippur, since on these days the daughters of Israel/Jerusalem go out dressed in white and dance in the vineyards. What were they saying: Young man, consider whom you choose (to be your wife)?"(Ta'anit, Chapter 4)."

Origins of the Date
The Gemara (the later, interpretive layer of the Talmud) attempts to find the origin of this date as a special joyous day, and offers several explanations. One of them is that on this day the Biblical "tribes of Israel were permitted to mingle with each other," namely: to marry women from other tribes (Talmud, Ta'anit 30b). This explanation is somewhat surprising, since nowhere in the Bible is there a prohibition on "intermarriage" among the 12 tribes of Israel. This Talmudic source probably is alluding to a story in the book of Judges (chapter 21): After a civil war between the tribe of Benjamin and other Israelite tribes, the tribes vowed not to intermarry with men of the tribe of Benjamin.

It should be noted that Tu B'Av, like several Jewish holidays (Passover, Sukkot, Tu Bishvat) begins on the night between the 14th and 15th day of the Hebrew month, since this is the night of a full moon in our lunar calendar. Linking the night of a full moon with romance, love, and fertility is not uncommon in ancient cultures.

For almost 19 centuries--between the destruction of Jerusalem and the re-establishment of Jewish independence in the state of Israel in 1948--the only commemoration of Tu B'Av was that the morning prayer service did not include the penitence prayer (Tahanun - "Supplication").

In recent decades Israeli civil culture promotes festivals of singing and dancing on the night of Tu B'Av. The entertainment and beauty industries work overtime on this date. It has no formal legal status as a holiday-- it is a regular workday--nor has the Israeli rabbinate initiated any addition to the liturgy or called for the introduction of any ancient religious practices. The cultural gap between Israeli secular society and the Orthodox rabbinate makes it unlikely that these two will find a common denominator in the celebration of this ancient/modern holiday in the foreseeable future.

06 August 2011

Association for Support of Children with Cancer

Help the children building a new hospital
Mission: The AACC - Associação de Apoio a Criança com Cancer, is a non-profit social organization whose mission is give support bio psychosocial and existential for children and adolescents with cancer and their families.

Vision: Be a reference in research, treatment and care of children and adolescents with cancer.

Values: Ethics, Transparency and Improvement of Human Dignity, are the principles that guide the work.

History: AACC was born on 11 April 1985 on the initiative of José Marcus Rotta and your wife Wanir Leo Cavalcanti Rotta, after experience in a support house in Seattle, USA, from November 1983 to April 1984, as a result of treatment his son James, a victim of leukemia.

The couple's initiative found support in a group of parents with children with cancer, in order to accommodate children living outside São Paulo City when they need to perform cancer treatment. The families who lived on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, which came from the state or other parts of Brazil and neighboring countries had nowhere to stay with the patient. So, many times, staying in hostels or in road and can not provide adequate nutrition and hygiene to patients and eventually dropping out of treatment and returning to the place of origin. The primary need was, therefore, to these patients stay offering conditions of proximity to the treatment site.

Objectives: Support to cancer research - Collaborate in developing and training of health professionals - Training of volunteers - Construction of a reference center dedicated exclusively to cancer treatment and rehabilitation of children with cancer

The AACC currently has a staff of 20 employees, 120 volunteers and more than 1,500 monthly donors between individuals and corporations, and numerous pontuals donors.

How to find help from the AACC - Get information

Help the children building a new hospital - Only in the State of São Paulo/BR, there are more than 1,800 new cases of childhood cancer per year. Currently, 65.6% of children can not find appropriate care.

17 July 2011

All men are equal

The love always win
In the vast literature has a truth:
All men are equal.

Those of us who read Dante, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Tolstoy and other great novelists, understand each other and we feel as individuals of the same species because in the works of these writers we learn that as human beings, regardless of social position, geographical, financial situation or historical period, we really equal in emotions, needs and aspirations in the fight for survival.

Nothing better protects us from the stupidity of the prejudice, racism, xenophobia, religious or political sectarianism this truth that always arises in the vast literature: All men are equal.

Nothing can teach us better than good novels to see the ethnic and cultural richness of the human legacy and multifaceted manifestation of human creativity and love.

by Mario Vargas Llosa*

14 July 2011

Google.org / Foundation

How Google.org started;

In 2004, when Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wrote to prospective shareholders about their vision for the company, they outlined a commitment to contribute significant resources, including 1% of Google's equity and profits in some form, as well as employee time, to address some of the world's most urgent problems.

That commitment became Google.org. Google.org is an integral part of Google Inc., and works closely with a broad range of "Googlers" on projects that make the most of Google's strengths in technology and information; examples of this approach include Flu Trends, RechargeIT, Clean Energy 2030, and PowerMeter.

Google also established the Google Foundation in 2005, which is a separate 501(c)(3) private foundation. The Google Foundation is managed by Google.org and supports our mission and core initiatives as one of our sources of funds for grant making.

More informations:
Projects; http://www.google.org/projects.html
Philanthropy; http://www.google.org/googlers.html

11 July 2011

9 BeTammuz

Today in Jewish History

Jerusalem Walls Breached (423 BCE)
Monday, July 11, 2011 (Hebrew Calendar - Day 9 - Month; Tammuz - Year 5771

The Babylonian armies of King Nebuchadnezzar breached the walls of Jerusalem on the 9th of Tammuz in the year 3338 from creation (423 BCE); King Ziddikiahu of Judah was captured and taken to Babylon (Jeremiah 39:5. A month later, the capture of Jerusalem was completed with the destruction of the Holy Temple and the exile of all but a small number of Jews to Babylon). Tammuz 9 was observed as a fast day until the second breaching of Jerusalem's walls (by the Romans) on the 17th of Tammuz, 3829 (69 CE), at which time the fast was moved to that date. (Talmud, Rosh Hashanah and Tur Orach Chaim 549)

The Destruction
The Old Jerusalem

08 July 2011

Yeladim - Fair Chance for Children

"Make a Child Smile"
In Israel today, over 7,500 children under the age of 18 live in 80 residential group homes around the country, and not with their families. For these children, who were removed from their homes by court order or by the social service authorities because of their parents' serious problems, concepts such as home, family, support and adult protection are not taken for granted.

Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children is a volunteer organization that was founded in 1986 in order to help children in residential group homes. Our non-profit association focuses mainly on activities that are not funded by the ministries of social welfare, education and health, but in coordination with and under the supervision of the Child and Adolescent Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services. The main goal is to provide each child with opportunities similar to those enjoyed by children who live with their families, so that they can grow into independent, useful adults.

Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children concentrates on two levels of activity:
- Lobbying to protect the rights of children at risk.
- Fundraising and operation of educational, rehabilitative and therapeutic programs.

The following is a brief description of the main programs operated by Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children:

Remedial Teaching - a program that helps kindergarten and elementary school children catch up and acquire the basic skills needed to cope with the demands of a regular school in the community.

Educational Resource Centers ­- educational centers aimed at instilling children with values. To achieve this aim, the counselors use games and different social activities, creating enjoyable experiences during the children's free time.

The Guardianship Body - personal, close guardianship by social workers of children in the residential group homes who have no parents or whose parents are completely unable to fulfill this role. The guardians help see to it that these children's needs are fulfilled until adulthood.

Child - Parent Summer Camps - an opportunity for children to spend time with their mothers or fathers at a summer camp, with the aim of renewing or strengthening the family relationships.

Family Ties - aproject, operated in collaboration with the National Insurance Institute and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, with the aim of promoting and strengthening the ties of parents with their children who live in residential group homes.

Expressive Art Therapy - initiated and funded therapy in the different arts for children in the residential group homes. Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children now provides professional consultation, recruits new therapists, accepts students for fieldwork and holds workshops for therapists.

Cultural Enrichment Program - activities aimed at introducing children living in residential group homes to theater, music, and dance. The professional committee of the program also provides scholarships to artistically talented children.

Sports Project - a program offering children in residential group homes a regular framework for a wide variety of sports activities, which aid the children's physical and emotional development, their leisure activity and offer an opportunity to attain personal excellence.

Volunteers - training and deployment of hundreds of volunteers to assist children in residential group homes in different ways: as host families, friends of the children and more, with the aim of restoring the children's trust in the adult world.

My Album - Since many children in the residential group homes have no mementos of their themselves and their families, Yeladim – Fair Chance for Children aims to provide each child with a personal photo album created over the years, to highlight their unique traits, reinforcing the child's inner strength and sense of belonging and reinforcing their self-image. Volunteer and professional photographers run the project.

The Project for Residential Group Home Graduates with No Family Ties - established by organizations and operated by Yeladim–Fair Chance for Children, the project helps young people who have spent time in placement and still lack family support when they graduate. The assistance focuses on different aspects of life, including housing, supervision (during military service as well), teaching life skills, guidance, professional training and finding work.

Help with the Enlistment of Residential Group Home Graduates in the IDF - personal supervision of graduates of the residential group homes through all stages from pre-enlistment to completion of military service: initial interviews and selection, appropriate assignments, soldiers' conditions and so forth.

The Council Budget - 90% of the income of Yeladim–Fair Chance for Children comes from donations – foundations, private individuals, and the business community in Israel and abroad. 10% of the budget is provided by different government ministries.

Donations - Donations to Yeladim–Fair Chance for Children are recognized for tax purposes according to section 46 of the Income Tax law.

07 July 2011

Save a Child’s Heart (SACH)

Save a Child’s Heart (SACH) is an Israeli-based international humanitarian project, whose mission is to improve the quality of pediatric cardiac care for children from developing countries who suffer from heart disease and to create centers of competence in these countries.

SACH is totally dedicated to the idea that every child deserves the best medical treatment available, regardless of the child's nationality, religion, color, gender or financial situation.

SACH is motivated by the age-old Jewish tradition of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world. By mending the hearts of children, regardless of their origin, SACH is contributing to a better and more peaceful future for all of our children.

The SACH mission is achieved through:
Providing life-saving cardiac surgery and other life saving procedures for children from developing countries at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel;
- Providing a full outreach training program for the medical personnel from these countries in Israel;
- Leading surgical and teaching missions to partner countries in the developing world;
- Holding pre-operative and follow-up cardiology clinics in Israel and abroad.

02 July 2011

Colel Chabad / Orphans & Widows

Help an orphan in Israel
Colel Chabad is the oldest continuously operating Tzedakah organization in Israel. It was established in 1788 by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad Lubavitch movement. Colel Chabad is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization.

Orphans & Widows
Today Colel Chabad remains the only organization in Israel that has an entire division dedicated to widows and their children. Our approach is holistic -- taking into account both the material and emotional needs of hundreds of orphaned families.

For the most urgent cases, Colel Chabad provides total family care. This means food, clothing and social services for 293 widows and more than 620 children annually.
Material want is only part of the challenges that confront the families of widows and orphans. Indeed, at times, money is not the problem.

The greatest challenges facing a widowed mother are:
1. The educational and emotional issues of their children; 
2. The ability to find and hold down a job; 
3. Coping with never-ending, 24/7 responsibilities.
Under the directorship of the renowned professor Dr. Amrom Blau, Colel Chabad offers a holistic approach that is designed to keep widowed families from fraying and falling apart.

Accordingly, Colel Chabad provides tutors for over 800 children; monthly ‘in loco parentis' contact with every orphan's teachers; social workers who monitor the domestic situation of each family; regular physical testing of each child, and monthly and semi-annual progress reports.

As needed, Colel Chabad provides widows and orphans with:
Cash grants, regular food deliveries, holiday clothing vouchers, interest-free loans, Career counseling and retraining, big brother/sister, psychological support, educational evaluations, youth clubs, music lessons, and driving lessons when a license is needed for employment.

28 June 2011

Middle East - Child Trafficking

Child trafficking is a serious problem in many Middle Eastern countries. While there are few official statistics on the child trafficking, there is enough information about the victims of trafficking to know that child victims of sexual exploitation have been reported throughout the region.

One of the largest contributors to the child trafficking problem is the domestic service industry. The Middle East hosts more than 13 million migrant workers, many of whom are very unskilled and low-paid Asian workers, often children and usually female, who are very vulnerable to abuse and find themselves trapped in abusive situations after arriving in the Middle East. It is all too common for child domestic servants to be exploited by their employers who take advantage of children’s unprotected legal status as well as naivety of age and force them to provide sexual services.

Young girls are also trafficked into the Middle East for arranged marriages and commercial exploitation. Often times these arranged marriages will involve the marriage of an underage girl in exchange for financial compensation to her family. Child marriage is extremely common in the Middle East, with about half of all girls younger than 18 in Yemen and Palestine being married.

Disaster and emergency situations, including wars, put children at an increased risk of sexual exploitation and trafficking. The Middle East has been a country with many issues of political and social unrest through the decades which is another major contributing factor to the child trafficking that originates there.

Some of the countries which have been recorded as being destination countries for victims of child trafficking include Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Iraq. The trafficking victims entering these countries often times come from Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, North Africa and other African countries.

In addition to being destination countries, a few Middle Eastern countries are also transit countries, which means that the victims of trafficking move through these countries while en route to another country , either in the Middle East or often somewhere in Western Europe or the UK. A few of these transit countries are Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman and Syria.

Children are exceptionally vulnerable to being trafficked because they are all too often very poorly educated and very easy to convince that they must do what an adult tells them to do.

Children who are living in extreme poverty or who are abandoned or homeless are especially vulnerable to child trafficking as they have nobody looking out for them and are often times desperate for stability and care.

All child trafficking or abuse must be reported to the law enforcement authorities.

08 June 2011

Shavuot - The holiday honoring the giving of the Torah.

Judaica Art "Shavuot" - Artist Rochelle Blumenfeld -  Limited Edition Lithograph on archival acid-free paper, hand-signed and numbered. It is boxed for special gift giving, gift card included upon request. Unframed. To order email us , call (412) 441-1282

Shavuot is a holiday with a double celebration.
Shavuot - Hag Matan Torateinu or Festival of the Giving of Our Torah
Hag ha'Bikkurim or Festival of the First Fruits

More profoundly, Shavuot commemorates the gift of the Torah, the crystallization of the ancient relationship of the peoples of Israel with their Gd. Falling in spring, Shavuot celebrates the bounty of the harvest and the first fruits of the season.

Along with Passover and Sukkot, Shavuot is a pilgrimage holiday, one of three festivals when the ancient Israelites traveled to Jerusalem to offer thanks to Gd for bountiful crops.

Biblical Significance of Shavuot:
Shavuot celebrates Moses descent from Mount Sinai and his presentation to the peoples of Israel of the Torah (the books of the Pentateuch) and the two tablets on which were recorded the "Ten Commandments". The emphasis on Shavuot is on receiving the Torah and accepting the revelations contained within it. That acceptance is a commitment to obey the laws given by Moses.

Moses ascended Mount Sinai, and Gd told him these words: "Say to the house of Jacob, and say to the Children of Israel: 'You saw what they did to the Egyptians, and how I have brought on the wings of eagles and brought them up to Me Now, therefore, if you hear my voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then are My treasure among all peoples, for all the earth is Mine, and shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation '. "

Moses climbed the mountain and stayed there for forty days and forty nights, without eating or sleeping, because he had become like an angel. During this time, Gd revealed to Moses the whole Torah, with all its laws and its interpretations.

Finally, Gd gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, made of stone containing the Ten Commandments, written by Gd Himself.

The Book of Ruth, written long after the books of the Pentateuch, is a narrative book in the Old Testament that relates the story of Ruth, a Moabite, who joined the Jewish people and who is the ancestor of King David. Though the story is told in narrative form, it stands as a metaphor for the acceptance of the Torah and is generally read on Shavuot. The story takes place at harvest time which brings a focus to the harvest, but, because Ruth was a convert who embraced Judaism fully and sincerely, she also represents the Jewish acceptance of the Torah.

The "Pessach" (Passover) marks the beginning of the barley season which ends with Shavuot when the barley is is harvested and the wheat crop is planted. In the days of the temple, some grain would be offered ritualistically. This, too, is commanded biblically: “When you enter the land that the Lord your Gd is giving you as a heritage.... you shall take some of the first fruit of the soil, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your Gd is giving you, put it in a basket and go to the place where the Lord your Gd will choose to establish His name...” (Deuteronomy 26:1-3:)

Traditionally the offerings made to Gd were taken from what has come to be known as the seven foods species: Wheat - "Chitah", Barley - "Se'orah", Grapes - "Anavim", Figs - "Te'enah", Pomegranate (Romã) - "Rimon", Olive - "Zayit", Date - "Tamar", and "Tamar-d'vash" - The "Tamar-honey" was made by placing "Date" (tamar, tâmara) in a pot of boiling water and scooping the fruit sugar off what bubbled to the surface.

02 May 2011

"Isha" - Israel Health Advancement for Women

The Initiative "Isha"

ISHA, the Hebrew word for "woman," is an acronym for the Israel Health Advancement for Women.
Launched in 2001 by the Jewish Agency and the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, this vital initiative brings together an international team of healthcare professionals, women's health advocates, academics, lay-leaders and researchers to advance women's health in Israel. The major objective of the ISHA partnership is to harness the collective power of women to improve their health and quality of life and to accord community leaders the tools with which to do so.

This multi-organizational, interdisciplinary program brings together and provides education and training for primary care physicians, health professionals, lay leaders in women's health and academicians, and strives to enhance the knowledge of the medical community on women's health issues, promote consumer awareness and establish women health advocates in communities throughout Israel. The Jewish Agency, with its extensive network and professional staff, is responsible for full implementation of the project.

Our current initiatives include:
Training 'Clalit' medical professionals;
Training Community Women's health advocates;
Promoting the well-being of disadvantaged women soldiers in the IDF;
Establishing leadership and empowerment project for Falash Mura Jewish women and their families;
Isha-Na'ara (Woman-Young Woman)- Raising youth awareness for the need to reduce violence in romantic teen relationships;
Empowering Tipat-Halav nurses to give women practical tools to enhance a healthier lifestyle, etc
For further details contact
Hannah Aharony Soltz
Director "Project Isha"
Phone; 972-2-6202038
Mobile: 972-52-6130208

Holocaust - We can never forget

Today is a sad day for my people. Mark the International Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust - Yom HaShoah

For years and even today, I seek to discover why the Jews, Blacks, Gypsies, homosexuals and other minorities, are dangerous to the world? Because many people still do not understand that we are just human beings with different colors and cultures? What the reason for bestial hatred against innocent people, children, elderly and mentally ill?

What happened at the time, the existence of such hatred, to come to an end so terrible?

Nowadays many people are ashamed of what happened, but in fact everybody was quiet in those times, were silent and many agreed with such evil. Few people in the world raised their voices to try to prevent this massacre.

What is the fear that the world has of us; are we different? Only the L-rd can respond to our fate - I know. Why He allowed such bad people in the world ,to me, is a big unknown.

Maybe one day our children can live without fear of oppression of evil men.

Gd bless you all.

27 April 2011

Coexist Foundation - Three Faiths

The 'Coexist Foundation' since 2006 is a charity which works to promote understanding and respect between Jews, Christians and Muslims and between these communities, through education, dialogue and research.

Coexist is an operational foundation which not only funds projects, but also forges and facilitates new partnerships and programmes, which help people to understand better what it means to be Jewish, Christian or Muslim today.

We do this by bringing together an influential network – including government, business, charities, academics and faith leaders - working towards the same objectives as ourselves.

We hope this website will give some flavour of how Coexist is working today, and how you might be able to help us in our mission.

What is it that makes Coexist distinctive among others working to promote better understanding between faiths?

Firstly, while we recognize and celebrate the many connections between the Abrahamic faiths, we also acknowledge their differences and distinctiveness. We believe we learn more about ourselves and our own traditions by looking respectfully at others’. So Coexist is not just about good relations: it is also about exploring our own convictions and beliefs.

Secondly, Coexist is focused on action, not words. The programmes we support aim to make a difference – not just to immediate issues and relationships, but for the long-term.

Finally, all our work is done in partnership. We believe in finding the best organizations and people to deliver our objectives around the world. Our global network increases the impact of initiatives which we hope will transform cultural and religious understanding around the world.

"Gd has given us many faiths but only one world in which to co-exist. May your work help all of us to cherish our commonalities and feel enlarged by our differences."
Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations

Understanding Faiths
We joined with innovative on-line education specialists Microbooks and a team of scholars to develop the series. www.understandingfaiths.net/

We have links with a number of organizations; Coexist Projects

You can contact click Coexist Foundation

16 April 2011

Pesach - The Celebration Of Freedom

The Pesach (The Jewish Passover) has different meaning of Easter Christian.

The eight-day festival of Pesach (Passover) will commence either just after sunset or just after nightfall on Monday, April 18th, 2011, concluding either at sunset or at nightfall on Monday, April 25th, 2011 (From 15th to the 22nd of Nissan, 5771 in the Jewish calendar).

It commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from slavery in ancient Egypt. And, by following the rituals of Passover, we have the ability to relive and experience the true freedom that our ancestors gained.

After many decades of slavery to the Egyptian Pharaohs, during which time the Israelites were subjected to back-breaking labor and unbearable horrors, Gd saw the people's distress and sent Moses to Pharaoh with a message: "Send forth My people, so that they may serve Me." But despite numerous warnings, Pharaoh refused to heed Gd's command. Gd then sent upon Egypt ten devastating plagues, afflicting them and destroying everything from their livestock to their crops.

At the stroke of midnight of Nissan 15 of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), Gd visited the last of the ten plagues on the Egyptians. While doing so, Gd spared the Children of Israel passing over their homes - hence the name of the holiday.

The Pharaoh's resistance was broken, and gave up chasing his ex-slaves. The Israelites left Egypt in such a hurry that the dough prepared for the journey did not go up, that is not fermented, so it is traditional eat Matza Lechem Oni (bread of poverty), bread without fermentation. That day began the journey to Mount Sinai and birth as the Chosen People of Gd.

The Seder (The Holiday Meal)
- The seder table should already be set before nightfall, with the seder plate, matzot, cups etc.
- The seder plate should contain - starting from top going clockwise - an egg lightly roasted, a piece of meat, charoset (usually made of grated apple, ground walnuts, cinnamon, red wine and dates), chazeret (a vegetable), karpas (potato, parsley etc.) and in the middle maror (the bitter herb - horseradish or romaine lettuce). A bowl of salt water should be placed on the table but not on the plate.

- Three whole matzot shmura should be placed under or in front of the plate. They should be covered and separated from each other by a napkin or cloth. Matzot shmura are matzot that were made for the sake of the mitzvah and from wheat that was protected from moisture from the time of its harvest. They are the matzot that one should use for the commandments of the seder.

- Everyone should have a cup that holds at least 86 cc. And there should be enough wine to fill four cups for each person at the seder. Red wine is preferable but white wine may also be used. Children and pregnant women or people who for health reasons cannot drink wine, may fulfill the obligation with grape juice (preferably, with a little wine mixed in). The cups should be filled to the brim for each of the four cups of wine.

Seder is concluded with the singing of the traditional songs (Echad Mi Yodea, Chad Gadya, Adir Hu, etc.)

To learn more, click.

13 April 2011

AMA - Associação de Amigos do Autista (Brasil)

Click na imagem para ver animação
Note: AMA website is also available in English, click here and look down the right to find this option.

A Missão:
- Proporcionar à pessoa com autismo uma vida digna: trabalho, saúde, lazer e integração à sociedade.
- Oferecer à família da pessoa com autismo instrumentos para a convivência no lar e em sociedade.
- Promover e incentivar pesquisas sobre o autismo, difundindo o conhecimento acumulado.

A AMA atende em duas unidades, ambas na cidade de São Paulo: no Sítio Nova Esperança, que fica no bairro de Parelheiros, e no Centro de Reabilitação Infantil, que fica no bairro do Cambuci.

Toda pessoa autista deve receber educação especial diária, oferecida por profissionais preparados que conheçam bem o autismo.

O que é Autismo
O Autismo é um distúrbio do desenvolvimento humano que vem sendo estudado pela ciência há seis décadas, mas sobre o qual ainda permanecem dentro do próprio âmbito da ciência divergências e grandes questões por responder.
Atualmente, embora o Autismo seja bem mais conhecido, tendo inclusive sido tema de vários filmes de sucesso, ele ainda surpreende pela diversidade de características que pode apresentar e pelo fato de na maioria das vezes a criança autista ter uma aparência totalmente normal.
O Autismo é uma síndrome definida por alterações presentes desde idades muito precoces, tipicamente antes dos três anos de idade, e que se caracteriza sempre por desvios qualitativos na comunicação, na interação social e no usa da imaginalção.
É comum pais relatarem que a criança passou por um período de normalidade anteriormente à manifestação dos sintomas.
Quando as crianças com autismo crescem, desenvolvem suas habilidades sociais em extensão variada.

AMA - Associação de Amigos do Autista
Doações: http://www.ama.org.br/public/doacoes.php 

Conheça melhor o trabalho da AMA clicando aqui. 

31 March 2011

Hasdei Naomi - Food to the Needy

Hasdei Naomi was founded in 1984 by Rabbi Yosef Cohen.

While sending his small children to school, he noticed that there were children arriving with torn briefcases and worn out clothing and he was deeply disturbed by this sight and felt badly for those families.

Rabbi Cohen, went, himself, from door to door, collecting food products and distributed them to the poor. After a while an entire array of volunteers was added, storage warehouses were formed, mobile collection-carts were distributed for collecting products. And today, Hasdei Naomi supports over a thousand families on a permanent basis as well as many others from time to time.

“Hasdei Naomi” takes care of those children and sends their families a box of basic products, such as canned goods, oil, vegetables, bread, laundry powder and sweets for the child. Dozens of products are being sent every month to more than 5000 families. The value of one box is about 500 NIS (today 500 Israeli shekels = 143.95 U.S. dollars).

The boxes which are given to needy families and widows, are distributed by a messenger from a courier service, in order to disguise the purpose of the mission and to spare the women and children the unnecessary embarrassment.

Donate to Hasdei Naomi; Click aqui

22 March 2011

Dil Se Campaign - Delhi, India.

Do not bet indifferent 
Dil Se envisions a humane and just society, which is free from hunger, hatred, violence, injustice and every form of deprivation which denies to people their social and economic right; where every person has equitable access to life of hope and dignity.

The Dil Se Campaign was launched in June 2005.The Government of Delhi identified the Centre for Equity Studies (CES) as the nodal agency for managing residential homes for street children in allocated government buildings. Since then CES has been coordinating the Dil Se Campaign in managing these residential homes in Delhi and later in Hyderabad.

Aman Biradari is a well-known social campaign and this is an umbrella campaign for The Dil Se Campaign (For more general information of Aman Biradari, visit the homepage; http://www.amanbiradari.org/dilse.html

The Centre for Equity Studies (CES) was founded in August 2000. It is an autonomous institution engaged in research and advocacy on issues of social injustice. It seeks to enquire into the nature and causes of social injustice and inequity and to collectively find methods of moving towards a more equitable world. It attempts to influence public policy in favour of people suffering from injustice.

Dil Se and People - Dil Se Events - Education - Field Works - Residential Homes

How The Dil Se Campaign Started and Why We Should Start It.

You can simply click here and volunteer us to share your gifts with our children contributing to the futures of them and India.

Want to help? Make contact, click Dil Se Campaign

17 March 2011

The Feast of Purim

Purim in 2011 will start on Sunday, the 20th of March and will continue for 2 days until Monday, the 21st of March. On Jewish calendar, on year 5771, start on 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar II and continues until the night 15th of Adar II.
Note that in the Jewish calander, a holiday begins on the on the sunset of the previous day, so observing the Jews begin celebrate the Purim on the sunset of Saturday, the 19th of March.

*The month that was reversed from grief to joy. Esther 9:22
*When the month of Adar enters, we increase in joy. Talmud, Taanit 26b

There are many joyous dates on the Jewish calendar, but besides Purim, none of them affect the entire month, causing it to be auspicious and joyous. What is the intrinsic connection between Purim and Adar? Perhaps a comprehension of the unique nature of Purim will allow us to understand why its joy extends throughout the entire month of Adar.

The Hebrew Month of Adar is synonymous with joy because Adar has traditionally been a month of hope and good luck for the Jewish people. Adar is the last of the months on the Jewish calendar, and in this way represents completion.

The sages say that Adar is the best month to try to remove your personal barriers to holiness. And by removing those barriers, you creates the potential for the greatest joy.

The 'Mitzvot' of Purim (The main 'precepts' of Purim)
1) Listen to the Megillah (Scroll of Esther)
2) Give to the Needy (Matanot La’evyonim)
3) Send Food Portions to Friends (Mishloach Manot
4) Eat, Drink and Be Merry
- Special Prayers (Al Hanissim, Torah reading). On Purim we include the Al HaNissim prayer, which describes the Purim miracle, in the evening, morning and afternoon prayers, as well as in the Grace After Meals. In the morning service there is a special reading from the Torah scroll in the synagogue (Exodus 17:8–16).
- Purim Customs: Masquerades and Hamantashen
A time-honored Purim custom is for children to dress up and disguise themselves—an allusion to the fact that the miracle of Purim was disguised in natural garments. This is also the significance behind a traditional Purim food, the hamantash—a pastry whose filling is hidden within a three-cornered crust.

They also say that prophecy can only come to someone who is happy. Jeremiah, Samuel, King David and others were not moping around in a bad mood when they received prophecy. The tradition says that some of the prophets even used music to help put them in an elevated mood in order to experience prophecy.

True happiness is not achieved by satisfying our physical desires, as the body would have us thinking. Just as the prophet uses music to lighten his mood in order to access the spiritual world, true happiness comes through using the pleasures of this world to elevate our consciousness in order to bind our thoughts to spirituality.

Adar is characterized by joy because it is the month of transforming dread into joy. Adar was the month that Haman selected for grief and mourning to us, but for the past 2,400 years has instead been a time of rejoicing and celebration. It's when we see G-d's hand in our lifes -- and realize how we gives our potential to defeat our enemies, then we have discovered the source of life's greatest joy. This Adar, may we be inspired to conquer enemies -- whether they come from afar, or from deep inside ourselves. That is the great opportunity of this month.

It can actually be argued that, in a certain sense, our perpetual relationship with G-d is more evident when we are exiled and downtrodden due to our sins, and G-d still interferes on our behalf, as was demonstrated by the Purim miracle. This phenomenon demonstrates the durability of our relationship; the ability of our essential identity to survive no matter our external state.

All other holidays celebrate the 'highs' of our nation. And therefore their joy is limited, because highs don't last.

Purim celebrates a time when we were at a low point in our history – but our relationship with G-d remained intact. Its joy is therefore greater than the joy of any other holiday, because it demonstrates the essential nature of our relationship with G-d -- and that is a constant.