Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mi Sh'nechnas Adar

Rosh Chodosh Adar Shaini. A time for rejoicing. A time to be thankful. A time to learn a few lessons as well. What should we think when we hear "Mi Sh'nechnas Adar marbin b'simcha"? Kind of hard not to remember a month, especially when in a leap year there are two Adars. Most people don't lose an entire month, although I'll admit to misplacing a day here and there. So what is it that we need to "remember" Adar for? And why will that bring simcha?

For me Adar is about remembering that "it ain't over 'till it's over." It's about remembering that "where there is a will, there is a way." It's about perseverance in the face of adversity. It's about being knocked down, and getting right back up, more determined then ever. It's about making mistakes and going back a step to fix them; it's about being able to do so. It's about recognizing that worldly kings are not the final authority, and aren't we lucky that they are not. It's about believing that right will triumph even if the way is rocky. It's about hope and a belief that there is a brighter future. And yes, it's about understanding that the bad guys get theirs in the end even if we are impatient for that to happen. It's about accepting that God's justice and mercy are His to dispense, on His timetable, not ours.

Adar is about waking up every morning and rejoicing that we are here to have another day, another opportunity to go forward, to do good, to learn, to share, to love. It's about realizing that life is not something that is going to happen to us down the road; it's here now with all its possibilities.

Adar is about the tips of bulbs pushing their way up through the ground, ready to start a new life cycle. They don't say maybe I'll wait for tomorrow, for next week, for next month. They're here now; they'll grow now.

Adar is a reminder to get up and get doing. Adar is a reminder that the road goes two ways, and forward is better. Adar is when we stare down our enemies and remember that the best revenge is living well.

To grasp the simcha of Adar is not to forget that bad things happen to good people; it is to remember that good things happen too. Adar is not about burying our heads in the sand; it's about lifting them up in determination.

You can't see simcha if you're not looking for it. Open your eyes wide--it's Adar.

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