06 March 2011

It's Rosh Chodesh Adar - AGAIN!!

30 Adar I 5771

The Book of Formation is the first Kabbalistic text attributed to Abraham and compiled in its final form by the Tannaic sage, Rabbi Akiva. It enumerates the 12 months of the year and explains that each corresponds to a Hebrew letter and a particular sense, or talent, which is controlled by a particular organ of the body. The month of Adar corresponds to the Hebrew letter ק (pronounced: kof), its talent is laughter, and the organ that controls this talent is the spleen. Because the Jewish reckoning of months begins with the month of Nisan, in the Jewish year, Adar is considered the twelfth and final month. This means that laughter is the last of all human traits implying a well-known verse from the chapter on the woman of valor: “She laughs, awaiting the final days.”1 After all the ups and downs of the entire year, we enter a month of healthy and cathartic laughter.

Indeed, laughter is the best medicine and it has the power to turn all of the pain, misery, and difficulty of the past year into goodness and joy. At the end of the year, we find ourselves still standing, thank God, and all of the fears that we harbored in our souls (lest so and so happen…) are transformed and sweetened by our laughter. This transformation is alluded to in one of God’s connotations: “the Fear of Isaac,”2 which literally means “fear [itself] will laugh!” This is the theme of Purim, the holiday that we celebrate in Adar. On Purim we celebrate how all the fears of Haman and his planned genocide of the Jewish people were overturned. The fear turned into laughter. This is why the motto of the month of Adar is “abound with joy.” When there is but a little amount of joy, it tends to remain concealed in the heart. But when there is an abundance of joy, it overflows and is expressed as booming laughter.

(You can read more here.) Chodesh Tov! And may we finally know true joy as we stand before the month of Nisan--the time of our redemption!!