Monday, March 9, 2009

Searching for the Hidden Joy

Adar is a particularly interesting month. We are taught that Mishenichnas Adar Marbim B'Simcha, when Adar arrives our joy increases. Adar is about what is hidden, concealed and Adar is about potential. The potential to grow and to change darkness into light. It seems appropriate to have this month at the very beginnings of the spring when the earth is just beginning to wake from her long winter slumber. Seeds and plants that have been resting all winter are beginning to peek their heads up out of the earth and buds are appearing on trees everywhere. I suppose this why 'When Adar comes our joy increases', because the joy has always been there, it was just hidden. It was resting and nourishing that which it needed to and now the time has come for it to slowly spring forth!

The Hebrew letter that is associated with the month of Adar is kuf. The kuf is the one letter that decends below the surface and symbolizes that in adar the potential is there to go deeper. The letter kuf is the the proverbial "eye of the needle". It is the absurd difficulty before us, 'trying to get the camel, elephant, (pick your animal) through the eyes of the needle. The kuf also stands for "Kof" or monkey and symbolizes laughter.

The astrological sign of Adar is Dagim or Pisces. Have you ever gone to the river's edge and gaze into the water at first seeing nothing and then all of a sudden tiny fish appear everywhere! Fish live hidden beneath the waters. Fish swallow by their prey and According to the gemara in Esther Rabbah 7:11, "Fish swallow by their prey, but can be swallowed too!" It is a continual cycle of nourishment, of life and death and dark and light. All neutral and necessary.