the Month of Adar
Mishenichnas adar marbim b'simcha
Although we are already in the midst of the joyous month of Adar, many authorities posit that increasing simcha is an obligation throughout the entire month.
How can we begin to manifest this heightened sense of simcha? The Sefer Nimukei Orach Chaim (to Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim Chapter 685) writes that each person should engage in activities or do things that make him personally happy (within Torah guidelines and ethics, of course). HaRav Yoel Schwartz (in Sefer Adar U’Purim) adds that it is an excellent custom to post signs in your home reading, “MiShenichnas Adar Marbin B’Simcha” – to have a constant reminder to feel and experience an increased level of Simcha.
This dictum that we should enhance our happiness in Adar is somewhat peculiar. It would seem that the month of Nissan in which the liberation from Mitzrayim took place represents a greater salvation than that of the relief from Haman that took place in Adar. Additionally, the gemarah in Megillah states that although Haman's plot was annulled and we were saved from annihilation, we do not recite Hallel because “אכתי עבדי אחשוורוש אנן – We are still considered the subjects of Achashveirosh.” Since that is the case, why didn't Chazal enact that we should increase joy when the month of Nissan approaches?
Harav Shraga Feivel Schneebalg z’l in Shraga Hameir suggests that although the redemption from Mitzrayim was accompanied by extraordinary miracles such as the Ten Makos and Kriyas Yam Suf, which were undoubtedly supernatural, it was evident that these miracles were performed by Hashem. On the other hand, the miracles that occurred leading up to the climax of Haman's downfall appeared as natural occurrences, they simply seemed like typical palace intrigue. Therefore, it was not so evident that Hashem orchestrated the events for the benefit of Israel. The nations didn’t take notice and did not point to the hand of Hashem that was responsible for the outcome. Only the Jewish people who understood that all is from Hashem could testify to this truth. Only they discerned that Hashem was working hidden miracles and transformed the month of Adar from mourning to jubilance.
This is the reason that about Adar, we say, “Mishenichnas Adar Marbim Besimcha.” The source of this gaiety was that we acknowledged and recognized this truth. But, in Nissan, in which all the nations realized that the hand of Hashem facilitated the redemption from Mitzrayim it was not such a great simcha. For the Jews, it resulted, in a stronger commitment to Torah, as the Gemarah says, “The Jews reaccepted the Torah willingly in the time of Mordechai and Esther.” These days were therefore earmarked as days of unbridled joy. For in every year when the month of Adar arrives there is a reawakening of the awareness that the Jewish people recognize the greatness of Hashem and that everything that transpires in the world is from Hashem.
Our holidays are replete with lessons, and their breadth and depth are all-encompassing and all-embracing. There is so much for the Jew to learn. That is what we hope to accomplish at meaningfulmoadim.com, a website that aims to highlight the beauty, symbolism and the life lessons inherent in the Moadim.