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The Systems of the Jewish Year

From Darkness to Great Light

By Rabbi Yaacov Haber

Today is Purim Kattan. It’s not the real Purim, because Purim must fall on the last month of the year, yet it still a day of celebration and happiness.

From a seasonal and holiday perspective, Nissan, the month of Pesach, is the first of all months, and Adar is the last of all months. Nissan is the new “Aviv’ or spring; Adar is the opposite end of the spectrum and can sometimes deliver the darkest of winter. (Just look outside.)

Let’s take a deeper look.

Nissan was the month of ‘G-d revealed’. He miraculously took us out of Egypt; He split the sea; He dropped food from Heaven - G-d’s presence was clear. The Talmud tells us that even a plain maidservant had greater prophecy than the Prophet Yechezkel. There was light.

By contrast, in Adar G-d was the month of ‘G-d hidden’. Ester was named after the hiddenness of that time. The Talmud teaches us the the time represents, “And I will certainly hide My face at that time.” It was a time of persecution, Haman and even assimilation.

This is G-ds design.

At every beginning G-d gives us light. That is G-d’s gift to us. But then that light begins to diminish. The light of G-d goes into hiding and is no longer revealed; the ‘revealed G-d’ no longer a given.

As the months pass from Nissan it gets darker. We must find that light within us. As the months get darker and darker we must indeed search deeper and deeper. During Adar, the end of the cycle, G-d is the most hidden. It is at that time, during Adar, that we must delve into the deepest part of our souls and find our absolute best. We, not G-d, must generate the light.

At the end of the calendar year we read, - “For the Jews there was light, happiness and joy.” This light was our light.

The light of Nissan is G-d’s gift to us; the light of Adar is our gift to G-d.

May G-d bless us with a new light, an Ohr Chadash, when He will once again reveal His full light, on the Zion and Jerusalem.

Rav Kook of blessed memory wrote:
על-כן הצדיקים הטהורים אינם קובלים על החושך, אלא מוסיפים אור; אינם קובלים על הרשעה, אלא מוסיפים צדק; אינם קובלים על הכפירה, אלא מוסיפים אמונה; אינם קובלים על הבערות, אלא מוסיפים חכמה.

’The truly righteous do not complain about darkness; they add light. They don’t complain about evil; they add justice. They don’t complain about heresy; they add faith. They don’t complain about ignorance; they add wisdom.’

(A synopsis of a small part of the Keynote address at the Shappel’s 36th anniversary Dinner in Jerusalem.)

Rabbi Yaacov Haber

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