“When Adar enters, we increase in joy.” (Talmud, Taanit 29a)
But this year, when we have two Adars, which Adar is the happier Adar? Adar 1 or Adar 2? Does Adar “1” mean it’s primary and Adar “2” is secondary? Or perhaps “Adar 2” connotes a double measure of joy, as its number suggests?
As other instances in Jewish law, this is a matter of dispute.
However, either way you look at it, today is indisputably the happiest day, since it’s both (the 30th of) Adar 1 and (rosh chodesh of) Adar 2!
Furthermore, on a normal year, we begin to increase in joy on the 30th of Shevat, since “Adar is entering,” even though it’s still technically shevat, i.e. not the happy month of Adar yet. How much more so this year, when Adar II enters on 30th of Adar I, it’s already in the happy month of Adar I, so the fact that Adar II is entering calls for an even greater measure of joy! Now it’s time to increase in joy exponentially!
It’s also a special bonus day of Adar we never get on a regular year (in which Adar only has 29 days), so this year’s extraordinary 30th of Adar (1) is certainly cause for extraordinary joy! It’s the highest number of Adar days we ever get (and highest number suggests the highest degree of joy, right?).
The Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that two Adars mean 60 days of consecutive joy. Since 60:1 Is the ratio of halachic nullification (one ounce of a non-kosher ingredient becomes nullified in sixty ounces of kosher food), it follows that sixty days of unbridled koy nullifies anything negative or undesirable.
But which day truly sets the leap-year apart from an ordinary year? When do we begin to feel that this Adar’s joy is quantitavely and qualitatively different from that of a regular year’s Adar?
Answer: today, the thirtieth of Adar I, the day of Adar we’d never get to enjoy on a regular single-Adar year. No wonder it is this awesome day that ushers in joy of Adar II and aptly serves as the first day of its rosh chodesh!
So today calls for an intensified increase in joy.
Happy Adar 30th!
PS in case you’e reading this article after 30th Adar 1 has passed, fear not! Remember the Talmudic axiom “מעלין בקודש ואין מורידין — One ought to ascend and promote in all matters of holiness, and never descend or demote.” Surely after 30 Adar I, we ought to continue ever-increasing in joy throughout Adar II. So keep rejoicing, and keep rejoicing more each day!