The Joy of Adar

Learn about the Hebrew month of Adar(אדר)

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 Nisan, continued through the sorrowful summer months of Tammuz, Av, and Elul, rejuvenated during the invigorating months of Tishrei, ends here with the joyous celebration of Purim in the month of Adar.

Here, at the end of the year, we celebrate the victory of Queen Esther and the Jewish community of Persia over the schemes of the wretched Haman. Esther, taken into the highest circle of royalty, unknowingly found herself in a unique position to bring salvation to God's people.

Mysteriously, the name of God is never mentioned in the book of Esther, yet it is obvious that he is working behind the scenes as the keeper of Israel. Just as God hardened Pharaoh's heart to bring Israel out of Egypt, God softened King Ahasuerus' heart towards Esther and chose her as his queen. Through this, and the support of her uncle Mordecai, Esther is able to reveal Haman's wicked plot, and he is hung on the same gallows he intended for the Jews.

There are many parallels to the story of Esther and our present day situation. Like the days of Esther and Mordecai, God sometimes seems silent. He may seem absent and distant at times. The situations of life seem random and sometimes, God forbid, even tragic. But as we see from Esther's life, God will bring about his salvation at a time when it is wholly unexpected. Through these trials, God will give us occasion for joy.

It may not be in this life, but day-by-day the return of our righteous King, Yeshua HaMelech, draws ever closer, and when He comes we will occasion for joy. Just as the Biblical calendar ends with a celebration of the inconspicuous workings of God at a time of national crisis, so too history will come to an end and every trial we encountered in this life will fall into perspective.

God may seem absent, that Day may seem distant, but be assured-He is coming! And when that Day comes, the celebration will be like no Purim party you've ever seen.

Chag Purim Sameach! Have a Happy Purim Festival!

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(Fri) 28 October 2016 :: 26 Tishrei 5777
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