The Shabbat Nugget: Adar and Purim

We have recently begun the Hebrew month of Adar.  The month of Adar contains the holiday of Purim. Our sages teach us “When the month of Adar enters, we increase our joy and the month of Adar is a month of good fortune.” This year is a leap year in the Jewish calendar and there are two months of Adar which means two months of extra joy and good fortune. The reason why Adar is so special is because it contains the holiday of Purim.  However, one can ask: There are many months that contain Jewish holidays in which great miracles happened for the Jewish people.  Why does Purim stand out above the rest of the holidays?

The explanation is that the miracles of the other holidays (Passover, Chanukah etc.) were miracles in which we overcame our enemies.  This reflects the idea of overcoming our challenges and adversaries.  However, in the miracle of Purim, we didn’t just overcome our adversaries, rather we transformed them.  The same King Achashveirosh who issued the decree of annihilation had a change of heart and gave the Jews permission to destroy their enemies.  The megillah further tells of the great awe and respect that the people of Achashveirosh’s kingdom had for the Jews and Mordechai after they saw the incredible chain of events that led to the king’s change of heart.

This then is the reason for the great joy of Adar, since the greatest joy is achieved when we can harness the energy of our challenges and adversaries to help us achieve greater heights in our lives.

About Rabbi Pesach Scheiner

Rabbi Pesach Scheiner is the Rabbi of Boulder County Center for Judaism. In addition, he teaches extensively throughout Boulder County and is the author of "Finding the Joy in Everyday Living," a book of short chapters explaining the ways to access happiness through appreciation, gratitude, and a sense of purpose.

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