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Rabbi's Blog

rabbi 05 smallsf badge lgRabbi Joel Landau  ( has been the Rabbi of Adath Israel since May 2013. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate in Jerusalem and has served previously as a congregational Rabbi in Charleston, South Carolina and Irvine, California. A full biography of Rabbi Landau is available here.

A few weeks ago my eldest daughter Malki, who lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, came up with a truly beautiful idea for Purim. Instead of making a whole bunch of mishloah manot to deliver to friends and family, she thought that it would be a lot more meaningful to take advantage of this mitzvah to bridge the divisions among the Jews of Beit Shemesh. Unfortunately, over the past several years there has been a significant amount of acrimony in Beit Shemesh between Jews of different world views. Just ten days ago, the city had a redo of the mayoral election due to voter fraud. The new vote was very close but once again the Ultra-Orthodox candidate won, which left almost half of the city disappointed. In an attempt to reach out to her fellow residents in order to demonstrate that, after all is said and done, we are all still one family, Malki decided to embark on her own personal peace mission. Together with her husband Yonatan (son of Lee & Laura Weissman), they organized close to 400 mishloah manot, sponsored by their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. On Purim day, they dressed up their five children Bracha Temmia (7), Eitan Shalom (5), Yisrael Noah (4), Emmuna Chaya (2) and Rivka Tova (3 months), packed up all the mishloach manot, and headed to the city’s main mall. Over the course of several hours they went from store to store and up and down the “mall-ways” giving out mishloah manot. People truly were touched by this kind gesture. What a beautiful way to spend Purim and what a great way to educate your children about showing respect and concern for other people, no matter what differences you may have. If you’d like to see a little of what went on click here.