Saturday, February 21, 2009

משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה

Adar is a month that is always associated for me with navigating through some nebulous spiritual darkness. Therefore I was always confused with how "marbin bsimcha" the increasing joy assigned by our Rabbis to this month fit into my schema. The preparations for the other Chaggim are always with pure joy but there is always a little trepidation for Adar. Memories of sirens through my window from Mercaz Ha Rav last year, and images of bombings in the past... It isn't until the seudah on Purim that I feel that the merky trekking of the month has brought me to the top of the peak where I can clearly see above it all... I can then soar with hashem's oneness and see with some more perspective how my personal journey fit into the tikkun of Am Yisrael.

This year I reread the Netivot Shalom's opening chapter on Purim which says that the "Simcha" of this month is one that flows from Emunah (faith in G-d) that all Hashem does is for the good. He says the greatness of the virtue of simcha is that a Jew is שמח בחלקו (happy with what he has). In addition he believes that all that Hashem does is truly for the good. He says that the work of the month of Adar is to plant in ones heart trust in Hashem. He emphasizes that even in a situation like Purim where the destruction of the Jews was signed and sealed, the power of trust in Hashem can turn the whole decree upside down. He reminds us that every Jew can use this Koach (strength) of bitachon (personal trust in G-d) like Mordechai to sweeten even the darkest of decrees for himself and the Jewish people.

Now I get it a little more... The simcha that we hope to increase in the month is the simcha of true Emunah. This idea brings clarification to some of the darker experiences. We have to know that the tests of Emunah that are present during this month are made more intense so that by passing through them successfully, we will be brought to a place where we have No Doubts that Hashem rules the world for our benefit. We need to believe in ourselves, in our role of the Redemption of the Jewish people. We are Hashems trusted servants for this work. It is so much larger than just our personal work.

We have to know the hidden light available in Purim for this task is so large. Hashem wants our vessels to be clear so that the wine of enlightenment of the Purim seudah flows in easily and through it we get drunk in ectasy with Hashem's love. With any spiritual stains on our glass ( fear, anger, rage, disbelief) or anything else that you can think of that creates a barrier between us and G-d, the ability to "drink in hashems light and love" will be slightly clouded.

THIS is why Hashem makes this month more challenging- it is the sweetest opportunity to have complete Emunah, and thus true simcha. As long as we go into this month knowing this we will have all the power to draw from when times feel a little confused. We need to believe in ourselves, in our role of the Redemption of the Jewish people. We can tell the Yetzer/Amalek/ challenge whatever you want to call it "I know what is going on and my Jewish neshama as part of the redemption of Am yisrael will always survive". May our emunah merit to bring the redemption speedily in our days.

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