Mi Shenichnas B’Adar Marbeh B’Simha
Whoever Enters Adar will Increase in Joy
Happy Post Groundhog Day! As we move from the depth of Winter to the beginning of Spring, our Calendar teases us into character formation: Enter the future and increase your capacity for happiness!
In our tradition Happiness is not an emotion or a “feeling” it is a state of being. Happiness is a mitzvah, a point of connection. As R. Nahman dictates: it is a great mitzvah to aspire for joy consistently. So happiness is an optimal goal I will never and always achieve. Happiness is the capacity for joy. When I aspire to bring joy in my life, the proactive smile creates the warmth of laughter.
I write this in our first month of Adar, because this year our Hebrew Calendar has two Adars to realign the lunar and solar clocks to our rhythm. In a few weeks we will have Purim Katan, a “mini Purim” that marks the day if we only had one. In a sense, we have Groundhog Month!
Which brings me back to the one who enters Adar. We are invited to relive a month of late winter to repeat our limited loops of ambition and disappointment or increase our capacity to see light in darkness. We have two times to ask how my being increases potential for joy or if we see another month as an extension of more of the same. It is a choice to enter the month Adar. the Calendar does not happen to you; you create the times of your life.
So let us use these months to increase our well being, to believe in a warmer future, to invite ourselves to a better future. Adar II at the full moon will be Purim Gadol, not a carnival rehearsal but life fully lived as a cabaret.
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
An international religious leader, philosopher, award-winning author and respected moral voice, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was awarded the 2016 Templeton Prize in recognition of his “exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” Described by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales as “a light unto this nation” and by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as “an intellectual giant”, Rabbi Sacks was a frequent and sought-after contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world.
Rabbi Micah Hyman
Rabbi Micah Hyman has returned to SLO county after five years around California. He has served pulpits in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Paris. Rabbi Hyman has also been an innovator in experiential education, serving the Jewish Museum in New York, the Spertus Institute in Chicago, and ANU: The Museum of the Jewish People in Tel Aviv. He enjoys SLO living in all its Nature and Culture, smoking lox, on the water, and hiking with his sons Nathan and Theo.