Giving, Mercy and Salvation

Before we begin the cycle of months again next month, we are privileged to remember and celebrate the events recorded in the Book of Esther. This celebration, which is in the middle of the month, is known as Purim, where the Holy One rescued the Jews from an evil decree. Also during this month, we remember the rededication of the temple after the Babylonian Exile. Ezra and Nehemiah led this Jewish return in rebuilding the temple with non-believers taunting them, but never the less, with the help of Hashem, they triumphed. On the third day of the month, Ezra and...

TOPICSAdar, charity, Esther, fasting, gifts, giving, loving-kindness, mercy, mishloach manot, Mordechai, Purim, salvation

The Giving of Adar

As we come to the end of the cycle of months, you might make a double take at your Jewish calendar. No, it's not a typo or negligent editing. There are sometimes two months of Adar. Yes, it is true. Why? Because there are 7 leap years every 19 years in the Jewish calendar, and every leap year, the month of Adar is doubled. In order for Passover to fall during the spring,1 it is necessary to add a month to the calendar every so often to keep Passover from sliding back into winter. Imagine leaving Egypt in the already...

TOPICSAdar, charity, giving, mishloach manot, Purim, tzedakah

The Joy of Adar

The twelfth month of Adar is sometimes doubled. But this does not mean we repeat the same events if two months of Adar follow each other. The sages declared Adar II to be the "real" Adar. Thus, the festivities and observances of a normal Adar fall during Adar II in a leap year (though to a small degree they are recognized in the first). Counting from the first month of Nisan, Adar brings us to the final month on the calendar. We have taken a journey with Israel through the Biblical calendar. What started with the Exodus from Egypt in...

TOPICSAdar, Esther, Haman, King Ahasuerus, Mordechai, party, Persia, Purim, victory