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It’s Adar, Let’s Celebrate!

Rosh Hodesh Adar, the beginning of the Hebrew month of Adar, falls this year on Saturday night, Feb. 9 – and continues through Sunday, Feb. 10, and Monday, Feb. 11. This joyous occasion marks just two more weeks until the holiday of Purim (14 Adar), which starts on Saturday night, Feb. 23. In her classic book, “How to Run a Traditional Jewish Household,” New York-based author Blu Greenberg sets the stage:

“The Talmud tells us: When Adar arrives, happiness increases. What the Rabbis really meant was that right in the center of the month of Adar comes the happiest of all Jewish holidays—Purim. The Rabbis ought to know, for they were part of its transformation. Scholars tell us that the Book of Esther, which describes the events of Purim and is read each Purim, was not entered into the Jewish canon until 300 or 400 years after the event occurred. What seems to have happened is that Purim was a popular holiday with a soul-warming story that was told over and over again. The people just wouldn’t let it die. And although it affected the lives of Jews of a single empire—and was not the only example of deliverance of the Jewish people during those 400 years—the way it happened is the ultimate and universal fantasy of minority victims everywhere: not only to be saved from extinction, but for the perpetrator to be richly punished. So, the Rabbis finally canonized the Book of Esther and established Purim firmly for all time.” 

Hodesh tov! Shabbat Shalom!

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