Increasing our joy in the month of Adar


As I did my research, I was happy to learn that this month, Adar, at the beginning of spring, is known as a month of celebration and happiness. Purim falls in Adar. The Talmud says “when the month of Adar arrives, we increase in joy” to welcome a season of miracles. Accordingly, the Talmud tells us that this month is fortuitous for the Jewish people.

The article “9 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Month of Adar,” at, states that Adar is the Hebrew name associated with “adir,” which means strength and power. In order to assure that the lunar months of the Jewish year stay in sync with the solar calendar, an additional month of Adar is added. Purim is celebrated in the second Adar. states, “An extra month, Adar I, is added after the month of Shevat and before the month of Adar in a leap year. The month is also known as Adar Rishon or Adar Alef. According to Jewish tradition, Adar is a lucky and happy month.” Because Adar was the last month the Jewish people spent in Egypt before the Exodus, it opens the door to Passover, a true celebration of miracles.

This additional month of Adar gives us more reason to be joyful; the lesson for me is in the statement “we increase in joy.” I don’t think that just happens.It comes from being grounded in the present moment and having a mindset of gratitude and openness to what is joyful in our lives. We can also increase our joy by focusing on the words themselves when we pray and say them with enthusiasm and joy.

It has taken me some time to realize how important each word is that we use and how those words create thoughts that shape our reality. Joy is a natural state for some, but for most of us it is an acquired “taste.” As we practice joy and appreciate the beauty around us, we begin to live it.

The word Adar has also been associated with beauty, as in the beauty of the season contained in Adar, spring. There is beauty in the transition from winter to spring. The buds begin to bloom, the weather becomes warmer and we can feel the warmth of the sun with longer daylight around us, which helps our mood and attitude.

The Jewish Leap Year is referred to in Hebrew as Shanah Me’uberet, or pregnant year, and that, in addition to the strength and power of the month of Adar, gives us additional opportunity to “birth” new ideas and create new beginnings.

PATRICIA RASKIN hosts “The Patricia Raskin Show” on Saturdays at 4 p.m. on WPRO, 630 AM/99.7 FM. Raskin is a board member of Providence’s Temple Emanu-El.