Ask the Rabbi with Rabbi Chaim Mintz

We say, “When Adar arrives, we increase happiness.” Where is the source for this, and why is the month of Adar, specifically, such a joyous time? Aren’t there other happy times on the Jewish calendar, such as Nissan, when we became a nation, or Chanukah?

Rabbi Chaim Mintz responds:

In the Talmud

The Talmud (Taanit 29a) is the source that tells us to be joyful in Adar. Why?

Purim – The Climax of All Holidays

Purim is in Adar, and as the final holiday on the Jewish calendar, it is the climax of the year, the greatest of all the holidays. Purim represents G-d’s unbreakable bond with the Jewish people.

All the other holidays were when things were going good – Pesach (Passover) was when Hashem redeemed us from Egypt. Shavuot, the Jews were standing by Mount Sinai. Sukkot was when they were in the desert with Hashem watching over them… but Purim was when the relationship went sour. The Jews were in exile, and had lost the Beit Hamikdash.

Haman told Achashveirosh, “Let’s destroy the Jewish people.” Achashveirosh told Haman, “I’m afraid to start up with them! Look what happened to Pharaoh, to Sancheiriv – all the kings that started up with them got destroyed.” But Haman said, “No, don’t worry, that was when things were going good, but now things are going bad so you have nothing to worry about.”

A Symbol of God’s Bond with the Jewish People

Of course he was very wrong, and Hashem showed that no matter the circumstances, even though Hashem is upset with the Jewish people because they sinned and are in exile, He will not leave them. He has an everlasting bond with the Jewish people no matter what. The covenant between God and the Jewish people stands up for all types of times and circumstances, and that was only shown by Purim – Hashem showed that even when the Jews are in exile, I will still make miracles for you.

That’s why it says that the holiday of Purim will never be forgotten – even when the other holidays are forgotten because there will be greater miracles, Purim will never be forgotten because it shows Hashem’s everlasting bond with the Jewish people, that cannot be broken.

And this is what makes this such a joyous season.

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