The abundance of joy in Adar is primarily due to the presence within the month of Purim. On Purim, we remember the salvation of the Jewish People from a genocidal plot by the wicked Haman, who hoped to destroy the Jewish People, completely. Because of our fasting and repentance, we were able to have that heavenly decree, if not the earthly one, torn up. As Haman’s decree could not be rescinded by Achashverosh. Our last picture of Haman and his ten sons are of them dangling from the very gallows which he had prepared for Mordechai.
Even though we are instructed in Pirkei Avot (Chapter 4, Mishnah 24) by Shmuel HaKatan, “When your enemy falls, do not be happy, and when he stumbles, let your heart not rejoice,” an exception is made in the case of Haman. He represents the spirit of absolute (or nearly absolute) evil, as did his infamous ancestor, Amalek, founder of the nation which attacked the weakest of the Jews on their way out of Mitzrayim. It was then, when the Jewish People were fresh from the Miracle of the Splitting of the sea, that Amalek made the decision to attack a nation of newly freed slaves.
“How can we suddenly just increase in joy? Don’t the Talmudic sages that life moves on. With their wisdom, they must know that life doesn’t just become better when Adar comes.” That’s what an angry, bitter person might say. In reality, life does get a little bit better, happier, when Adar begins.
The Megillah, in Perek 4 says, It says…
יג וַיֹּאמֶר מָרְדֳּכַי, לְהָשִׁיב אֶל-אֶסְתֵּר: אַל-תְּדַמִּי בְנַפְשֵׁךְ,.לְהִמָּלֵט בֵּית-הַמֶּלֶךְ מִכָּל-הַיְּהוּדִים
יד כִּי אִם-הַחֲרֵשׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי, בָּעֵת הַזֹּאת–רֶוַח וְהַצָּלָה יַעֲמוֹד לַיְּהוּדִים מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר, וְאַתְּ וּבֵית-אָבִיךְ תֹּאבֵדוּ; וּמִי יוֹדֵעַ–אִם-לְעֵת כָּזֹאת, הִגַּעַתְּ לַמַּלְכוּת.
טו וַתֹּאמֶר אֶסְתֵּר, לְהָשִׁיב אֶל-מָרְדֳּכָי
טז לֵךְ כְּנוֹס אֶת-כָּל-הַיְּהוּדִים הַנִּמְצְאִים בְּשׁוּשָׁן, וְצוּמוּ עָלַי וְאַל-תֹּאכְלוּ וְאַל-תִּשְׁתּוּ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים לַיְלָה וָיוֹם–גַּם-אֲנִי וְנַעֲרֹתַי, אָצוּם כֵּן; וּבְכֵן אָבוֹא אֶל-הַמֶּלֶךְ, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-כַדָּת, וְכַאֲשֶׁר אָבַדְתִּי, אָבָדְתִּי.
13. And Mordechai said to relay to Esther, “Do not think that you will escape [the fate of] all the Jews by being in the king’s palace.
- For if you will remain silent at this time, relief and salvation will come to the Jews from another source, and you and the house of your father will be lost. And who knows if it is not for just such a time that you reached this royal position.”
15. Esther said to relay to Mordechai:
- “Go and gather all the Jews who are in Shushan and fast for my sake, do not eat and do not drink for three days, night and day. My maids and I shall also fast in the same way. Then I shall go to the king, though it is unlawful, and if I perish, I perish.”
What changed for Esther? The situation remained the same, and yet somehow her perception was swayed. The simple fact is that Mordechai had Emunah in Hashem. He believed that the Jews would be saved no matter what. The only one who would “die” would be Esther, because she would forever be assimilated from her people.
Today, as we celebrate Purim Katan in this leap year almost 2400 years later, we’re still talking about Esther, who saved her entire nation from a single decree. We see how easy it is, even so long ago, for one man to be in such great power; that he has the ability to destroy an entire nation. We also see how simply having faith, and knowing everything will be okay, makes all the difference. The situation you’re in may not ever change, but how you view it must, or else no good will ever come. In every generation, there are people that stand up to destroy us. But they never succeed! הקב”ה save us from them! We see that as long as we have Emunah in Hashem, no matter what, we will live and thrive. There is negative in the world; bad things do happen to good people. We must put one foot in front of the over, and continue to live without fear and sadness, but with promise, hope and happiness, just like Mordechai and Esther.