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Ta Shema: February 4, 2022

This week we began the Hebrew month of Adar I. In most years, Adar appears just once. In a leap year, we get two Adars, Adar I and Adar II. Due to having a lunar/solar calendar, this leap month puts the calendar back on track to keep all of our holidays in line with the agrarian calendar. While doubling up any month would work in order to get the calendar back in sync, Adar is the month of the unbridled joy of Purim. Besides, having two Rosh Hashanahs of Tishrei or two Passovers of Nisan would be too exhausting, and having two Tisha B'Avs would be a giant bummer.

Purim itself is in Adar II. Adar I represents the endless joyful possibilities that are just within reach. This is why in Hebrew a leap year is called a "pregnant year,"  "Shanah Me'uberet."

This month, think about all of the joyful possibilities this year has in store just within reach. Make a plan to grasp them all so none of them should be out of reach. After all, you get an extra month to fit it all in!

--By Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

The first Adar takes its name
from the letter who tells no tales.

Contains "little Purim"
which is just like big Purim

except we don't read the megillah
or send gift baskets

we just cultivate joy.
The first Adar's mitzvot are invisible.

The first Adar conceals its holiness
like a veiled Torah scroll.

It's like the cosmos compressed
into the silent first letter

of the first word
of the first commandment.

Like the queen whose name means hidden,
who keeps her Judaism close to the vest.

Like the Holy One, never mentioned
in our bawdy passion play

but gleaming all over the story
for we who have eyes to see.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Chaya Bender

Sun, March 3 2024 23 Adar I 5784