Chodesh Tov to you all! Today starts a new month called Adar. It is an unusual month in that some years it is two months of Adar. This means that this year is called a pregnant year because it has two Adars. Read next month to learn why it is Adar that is doubled and not Nissan.
Adar spelled אדר means to glorify, to exalt, and to be decorated. It also means garment. This is all in addition to being the name of the last Hebrew month of the year. Adar has another possible Shoresh (root). It is Nedar spelled נדר. This word means Vow, to renounce, or to abstain. Adar is cognate to Adir spelled אדיר which means mighty. Concealed within the word is the word meaning flock or herd, flock, and also corral. This word is spelled substituting an Ayin for the Aleph (A common Letter Substitution). Another common letter substitution is a Bet for the Aleph, when this is done the word becomes “with mother of pearl”.
Lets review what the Sefer Yetzirah and other Kabbalistic Teachings say about this month. Letters of the month:
Koof ק– created the constellation Dagim which means Fishes דגים. In Kabbalah the Fish is an interesting animal. For a fish to be kosher it must have fins and scales. Not one fin but multiple fins. This indicates the animal has two energies, right and left, sharing and receiving. The scales indicate its ability to restrict these energies and therefore provide balance within the animal. This is why fish that have these characteristics are kosher. Fish are unique for other reasons. Fish are considered the location for the reincarnation of Tzadikim until they complete their Tikune. These are actually Tzadikim that must reincarnate for a relatively short period of time. They are people who in their last lifetime changed and transformed themselves into a Tzadik, yet in the last weeks and months of their life fell from this exalted level. They reincarnate into fish who constantly live in an environment surrounded by water which according to Kabbalah represents Chesed or loving kindness. They are then protected from evil eye. See next month for additional discussion of this aspect.
Gimmel ג-- created the planet Tzedek , which is the planet Jupiter and the name also means Righteous and Justice. The planet Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and is constantly growing and expanding just as the light of fulfillment wants to constantly share more and more goodness with his creations.
The gematria of Koof and Gimmel together is 103. The word Mincha מנחה is the first word in the Torah that has this Gematria. The Kabbalists teach us that the first use of a word and or number in the Torah is unique and can be used to learn different aspects of the word or number. This word is translated as “offering”. It has come to mean the afternoon communal prayer service as well. It also has the meaning of “guide”. What has all of this to do with the month of Adar. The central teaching of the Baal Shem Tov is “Be Happy”! Serve (Avodah אבדה) HaShem with Happiness and Joy שמחה (Simcha). The Talmud teaches that “When Adar arrives Joy increases”! Joy is the emotion to strive to reach or find within yourself this month.
Tribe: Naftali – נפתלי . The name Naftali can be seen as two words in two ways. Both relate to the aspect of the energy of Adar and Pisces. Naftali can be seen as נפתל coming from the root that means bending or curving. In this case the name Naftali means My bending. The other way to see the name Naftali is נפת לי . In this case the phrase would be translated as “sweetness is to me” as נפת means necter or sweetness and לי means “to me”. In essence, this months tribe is teaching that the sweetness of Joy comes to me when I bend my will to the will of HaShem.
Laughter is the expression of unbounded joy. Laughter is the manifestation of Joy. The month of Adar is the last month of the year. As such it is the Malchut of the year. This helps explain why the sages have told us “When Adar comes in Joy increases”. Issac Avinu is the archtype personification of laughter in the Torah. He was named by Sarah his mother as an expression of her laughter. His name actually expresses the idea of active laughter. There is a unique expression in the Torah called the Fear of Issac. This expression is considered a Name of God. The phrase can be translated as “fear shall laugh”. The meaning of the phrase is “The essence of fear shall become the essence of laughter”. This is part of the attributes and energies we will see during Adar and Pisces. We can fall to our fears or we can realize the illusion that the negative system called Satan is sending to us and laugh our concerns away.
In most astrological teachings the spleen is the “seat” of the black humor. This is a code word for melancholy and despair. Our sages teach a different aspect. They say explicitly, “the spleen laughs”. While this appears as a paradox, it is easy to understand with the wisdom of Torah. The phrase “black humor” in Hebrew is מרה שחורה . This can be permuted to הרהור שמח which means “happy thought”! Please keep a happy thought in mind through out this month.
Constellation: is Pisces which is Dagim דגים meaning fishes in Hebrew. Fish are the creatures of the Sea. In Kabbalah the sea is a symbol for a “concealed reality”. This is confirmed by the Gematria of the word Sea which is ים Yam. Yam has a gematria of 50 and represents the 50 Gates of Binah from the Tree of Life. Fish live their lives constantly surrounded by water which is the energy of Chesed or lovingkindness. People born in Pisces have an in built protection from evil eye. One of the character traits of Pisces is a low ego. Of course this is not always true humbleness but can be the perception of false humbleness. This is the kind of tests that we will see during this month. One can understand false humbleness when one thinks of oneself as small and egoless with one eye open looking to see if anybody notices how humble one is acting.
Holidays: This is the first Month of Adar. The Holiday of Purim is in next month Adar Bet. Yet we have the potential Holiday of Purim on the 14th of Adar and the potential Holiday of Shushan Purim on the 15th of Adar. This is recognizing the energy of the month and the days within the month. There is no special ritual for these days except like each day in Adar Aleph – “Be Happy”.
There is also a special Hilula for Moshe Rabeinu. The 7th day of Adar is his birthday and his Hilula (Day of Joy – Death Anniversary). This month is on the evening of the 10th of March. There will be a special connection reading from the Zohar at 10 PM PST at that time. See our calendar for more information.
The color of the month is Forest Green.
Our sages teach that Adar is a good month for the Children of Israel. They say that the Mazel (flow of beneficence) of Adar is strong. They teach that if one has a court case against a non Jew it is good to start your trial in Adar. Of course this is be seen as a metaphor not a physical statement because any time one is the cause of going to court one is inviting judgment into ones life.
Other days in Adar Aleph: We live in a generation that is fortunate to have a Tzadik that has left each of the 30 days of Adar Aleph. It is good to connect to all of the Tzadikim that passed on a certain day. Here is a link to the list of Tzadikim and the day in Adar that they chose to leave. Hilula, means a day of joy, which is the word in Hebrew used to refer to the death day or in Yiddish it is Yartzeit.
Just because the sages say that Simcha increases does not make it so! It is up to us to manifest this spiritual effect this month. We do this by being Happy all of the time. This is a difficult thing to do when there is an event that causes us to be sad. What can one do to overcome this tendency to be sad? Ultimately, one will learn that everything is in the hands of the creator. That event that causes us to be sad is actually a happy event because the creator only sends us good and happy events. It is we who perceive them as sad incorrectly. Isn’t that an absolute joke to be laughing out loud?
The general correction for people born in Pisces is to develop a stronger ego than they normally possess. We will find it easy this month to be falsely humble. This means that we will find it easy to react to events and situations with the appearance of humility yet our inner essence will be looking for approval. During this month it is good to focus on learning about the trait of humility. The restriction this month is to truly be humble. To truly think about what is best for the other person!
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