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5 matters pertinent to the new month of Adar II

חודש אדר

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])

1. "When Adar enters, we increase in joy." It enters today. Today and tomorrow, even during these challenging times, we celebrate Rosh Chodesh, the new month of Adar II.

2. The source of the word "Adar" is Babylonian, but the Hebrew can also be read as א'-דר: the Lord ('א) dwells (דר). In other words, God is uniquely present during this month.

3. One of the expressions identified with the month of Adar appears in Megillat Esther, the book of Esther: ”Venahafoch hu”; that is, everything flips. Just as in the Megillah everything is suddenly turned upside down as impending doom is displaced by salvation, similar surprises can happen in the world today and even in our own lives when, at the last minute, evil gives way to good and darkness is driven out by light.

4. Our joy during this month is heightened when we recall that Adar was the last month of the Egyptian exile prior to our redemption, since the Exodus occurred in the following month of Nissan, when we celebrate Pesach.

5. Today and tomorrow, as on every Rosh Chodesh, in addition to the usual morning prayers, chapters from the book of Psalms are recited in the Hallel prayer, followed by a Torah reading and the Mussaf, an additional Amidah prayer service. We also insert the beautiful words beginning with "Ya'aleh VeYavo" into the Amidah and Birkat HaMazon (Grace after Meals) prayers on Rosh Chodesh, as follows:

"Our God and God of our fathers, may there ascend, approach, and reach, be seen, accepted, and heard, recalled and remembered before you, the remembrance of Moshiach the son of David, Your servant, the remembrance of Jerusalem Your holy city, and the remembrance of all Your people the House of Israel, for deliverance, well-being, grace, kindness, mercy, good life and peace on this Rosh Chodesh."


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