"…Even here in prison, we encounter many nisyonos, or difficulties. There are those who laugh and mock our holy Torah and mitzvos, and we need all our strength and courage not to become influenced by them. Thus, I would like to introduce the 'Rubashkin Purim Contest.' I beg all Jewish children across the world to write down, in about 200 words, how you learned from the story of Purim to be strong against the tide, against those who mock our faith.…"
A Few Days Left to the “Rubashkin Purim Contest”
A letter from Reb Sholom Mordechai Halevi Rubashkin to all Jewish children across the World:
Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin,
“Sholom U’bracha” to you, Yiddishe Kinderlach across the world:
We are approaching the great and holy day of Purim, the day the evil decree of Haman Harasha was destroyed through the pure prayers and Torah of Jewish children, who gathered to learn with Mordechai Hatzadik.
Let us think for a moment about some of the lessons of the Megillah. Mordechai the Tzaddik understood the importance of being proud of his faith, and behaved as an ehrlicher Yid, a religious Jew, in every circumstance. Although on the outside, it appeared that this caused him harm, he proudly adhered to the laws of the Torah. He did not allow the Jews to go to the party of Achashverosh, although many Jews felt it was the right thing to do. They naively thought that if they would befriend the goyim, it would bring them benefits. In the end, it brought the evil decree upon their heads.
In addition, Mordechai refused to bow to the evil Haman, though he was warned that he would pay a price for his obstinacy. He did not listen to those who told him we must do what everyone does, but remained loyal to the Torah.
And another example: When Esther Hamalka, or Queen Esther prepared to visit the king, she fasted for three days and davened to Hashem. One would have thought she should eat well and drink to her heart’s content, in order to appear beautiful and strong before the king. Yet instead of trying to find favor with the king, she found favor with the King of all Kings, the Ribono Shel Olam, by fasting and davening for salvation.
In the end, Mordechai Hatzadik and Esther Hamalka were the instruments of salvation for the Jewish nation, and we merited the joyous, holy day of Purim for all time.
In our days, Jewish children, we encounter numerous difficulties in this long and bitter golus. The Yetzer Hora, or evil inclination, wants us to believe that by courting favor with those who are against the Torah we will achieve our goals.
Even here in prison, we encounter many nisyonos, or difficulties. There are those who laugh and mock our holy Torah and mitzvos, and we need all our strength and courage not to become influenced by them.
Thus, I would like to introduce the “Rubashkin Purim Contest.” I beg all Jewish children across the world to write down, in about 200 words, how you learned from the story of Purim to be strong against the tide, against those who mock our faith.
In this short essay, I want you to explain what you learned from the Purim story, or describe something you accepted upon yourself on Purim, to behave as a proud and courageous Jew. Let us disregard those who mock our beliefs, who make us feel that if we abandon the Torah, it will be good for us, G-d forbid.
I will personally read all your submissions, b’ezras Hashem, and reply to each of you with a letter and a special gift, sent by my family. The three best entries, judged upon quality and content, will receive a beautiful Hagadah, and their writings will be published, with their permission, in prominent Jewish papers.
Dear Yiddishe Kinderlach: I am waiting to hear from you soon. The winner will be chosen on Rosh Chodesh Nissan, so time is short. I beg of you to have me in mind during your tefillos on the holy day of Purim.
Sholom Mordechai Halevi ben Rivkah Rubashkin
Please send your submissions to:
Rubashkin Family Contest
6 Crabapple Court
Monsey, NY 10952