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Be Happy, It's Adar! 

02/12/2021 01:09:06 PM

Feb12

Happy Adar!

The Mishnah instructs that we rejoice when the month of Adar arrives. One might find that counterintuitive. After all, Adar is the last month, as we are taught that Nisan, the month of Pesach, is considered the first of the months. Winter is still in full force, even though we know that Spring is around the corner. COVID is still a threat that keeps us from traveling and embracing our families and loved ones, even though we see a glimmer of light at the end of the dark tunnel. Vaccines are slowly but steadily becoming available. This Adar, perhaps more than ever, we are tired of living in fear, loneliness and depression.

Written at the end of the Book of Esther, “…on the day the enemies of the Jews hoped to have power over them it was turned to the contrary (nahafochu), that the Jews had rule over those who hated them.” (Esther 9:1) The word nahafochou, to “completely turn around,” is a key concept in understanding the month of Adar, the real story of Purim, and perhaps even modern times too.

Adar marks the time when sadness and frustration began to transform into joy and renewal. Suddenly everything changed for the better - that was the miracle! 

It is noted by all the commentaries that God’s name is not mentioned in the Book of Esther. The name Esther comes from the root “to hide,” while the word Megilah comes from the word “to reveal.” In the story of Purim, God’s presence is hidden, yet so revealed. Although Purim reveals no wondrous open miracles, more importantly, it reveals the ongoing miracle of Divine Providence in the guise of history and politics. 

The Megilah reading serves as a public and individual reminder that hope is never lost. Purim is about friendship and community (Mishloach Manot). Purim is about caring for those less fortunate (Matanot L’evyonim). Purim is about being together and sharing smiles and joy (Seudat Purim). That is why some have even said that Purim is as great in holiness as Yom Kippur.

This Adar, as we head into the season of Purim and Pesach, may we realize that the world may seem dark and scary but God is present and has the power to “nahafochu” completely turn around our reality and perspective. Similarly, we have the power to help others realize the power of the season by observing the mitzvot of Purim.

1. Read the Megilah - Learn and tell the story of Purim
    Thursday evening, February 25th, 6:30pm (in-person and on Zoom)
    Friday morning, February 26th, 8:30am (Zoom only)
2. Send Mishloach Manot
    Participate in the HTAA Mishloach Manot project!
3. Give gifts to the poor.
    Yad Yehuda, the Kosher Food Pantry is a terrific recipient, HTAA, or directly to individuals.
4. Festive Meal
    B’ezrat Hashem, next year we will be able to gather in larger numbers than ever to laugh, eat, drink, learn, and grow together in-person!

Shabbat Shalom & Happy Adar!
Rabbi Suson

Wed, April 14 2021 2 Iyyar 5781