Months of Mazal
When the archenemy of the Jews, Haman, was
drawing lots for an opportune time to wage his personal war against the Jews,
he was delighted that the date of the deadly decree fell in the month of Adar.
The reason he was so happy was that he found that every other month on the Jewish
calendar had some auspicious date to aid the Jewish people, but in Adar he saw
that Moses passed away on the 7th. Haman was so sure that this date would cause
misfortune for the Jewish people, that he made Adar the deadline for the decree.
However, what Haman didn't know is that Moses was also born
on the 7th of Adar, which made the month an auspicious one for the Jewish people,
not only during the events of Purim but also today. How did the joy of Moses'
birthday cancel out the misfortune that the 7th was also the day of his passing,
and what are the special qualities of Adar that grant the Jewish people good fortune?
Adar is under the constellation of the fish. Haman saw nothing
particularly lucky or beneficial in the constellation of the fish. He
was threatening to swallow up the Jewish people like a fish swallows food.
But he didn't see that there was a bigger fish, and that he would be swallowed
up himself. Just as larger fish swallow smaller fish, so the tragedy of
Moses' passing is swallowed up by his birth, for that joy is greater than
the sadness of mourning.
How do we know this is so? The Lubavitcher Rebbe points
out that a person's soul shines stronger on his or her birthday. The aspect
of the soul that is contained within a person is actually a spark of the
person's root neshama, which stays above. This neshama that is
above the earthly neshama is called "mazal". A person's
mazal is stronger on the birthday because the mazal, which drips vitality
into the soul, and the soul are in perfect alignment on that day.
Even though we all individually have birthdays, Moses's
birthday is like the collective birthday of the Jewish people. How is
this so? Because the leader of the Jewish people is equal to the Jewish
people collectively (see Rashi on Num. 21:21). Since every generation
has a spark of the soul of Moses, his birthday is also the birth of the
essence of the souls of the Jewish people. This is why the mazal of the
Jewish people is stronger in Adar.
Adar is also the month of completion, rectifying the lunar
year to the solar cycle and readying us for revelation. In leap years
there are two Adars. In such a year, what was incomplete reaches its full
potential. Just as the Jewish people are frequently compared to the moon,
Adar is an auspicious time to reach one's spiritual potential.
Also, the two Adars together have 60 days. If an unkosher
liquid falls into a pot, the mixture can still be considered kosher if
the unkosher part is less than a ratio of 1/60. The 60 days of these two
months reflect the ability of this number to nullify negativity.
the sages have said that the Jewish people are beyond mazal and there is
no constellation that is associated with them. This is why the Jewish people were
able to show such self-sacrifice on Purim, and at all times; the capacity for
self-sacrifice is beyond logic.
This greatness is hinted in
the name of Adar which is spelled alef, dalet, reish. The alef
represents the power of G-d, which may seem to be separate from everyday existence.
The dalet and reish form the word "dar", which means "to
dwell". The alef, or G-d's unlimited power, aims to create a dwelling
place in this limited world.
Moses tried to accomplish this
in the last seven days of Adar when he worked to build the Tabernacle. The Shechina
wasn't revealed in the Tabernacle, so he kept rearranging and rebuilding it. Finally,
on the last day, the Shechina was revealed in the Tabernacle. The last seven days
of Adar during which Moses spent building the Tabernacle correspond to the seven
generations during which the Shechina was not revealed. G-d's intention was that
he should have a dwelling place in this world, and this was being accomplished
at the end of Adar.
Haman's mistake in thinking that Moses'
passing ruined the month of Adar for the Jewish people was actually to our benefit;
he chose to set the decree in the month of the greatest mazal for the Jewish people.
This teaches us that Adar is a propitious month for protection, for improving
ourselves and for joy, which reaches greater and greater levels as we progress
through the two Adars.
and adapted from Torat Menachem 5752, p. 299.]
Metzinger of Nahariya, a former counselor at Ascent, is now married and living