February 2, 2022
Chodesh Tov! Yesterday and today we welcome the month of Adar I. Does that mean there is an Adar II? Yes! The Jewish calendar is what is called luni-solar, based on the lunar cycle, but also staying in sync with the solar calendar, to keep the Jewish harvest festivals in sync with seasonal time.
What that means is that 12 lunar months are approximately 10 days short of the solar calendar. How do we compensate? Seven out of 19 years, (approximately every 3 years), we add a “leap month,” between Adar and Nisan, called Adar II to compensate.
Here’s the good news…The Rabbis of the Talmud tell us:
משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה
Mishenichnas Adar, marbin b'simcha!
When [the month of] Adar arrives, we increase our joy!
The month of Adar, which includes Purim (in Adar II, which falls this year on March 17th), is a time of joy, merriment, frivolity, partying, laughter. We are coming out of the darkness and cold of the winter months. We can feel the hints of Spring in the air. We have two important holidays coming (Purim and Passover) which bring us the themes of triumph over evil and oppression and the freedom and redemption of our people. We begin to feel all of this percolating and the psycho-spiritual mood is one of joy.
And fortunate are we that we get two months of Adar this year! Let’s double down on this opportunity, increasing our joy, finding time for fun, gravitating toward humor and laughs.
Chodesh Tov! May Adar I be a month of increasing joy and laughter for us all. We definitely need it!