“M’she-nichnas Adar, Marbim B’simcha!”
“When the month of Adar arrives, we increase our happiness!”
I have always been fascinated by this statement which only appears once in the entire Talmud.
Here is the actual quote (Ta’anis 29a): “Rav Yehuda, son of Rav Shmuel bar Sheilas, said in the name of Rav: “Just as when Av begins one decreases rejoicing, so too when the month of Adar begins, one increases rejoicing.” Rashi informs us that the reason for the simcha when Adar begins is because we are entering, “Days in which miraculous events occurred to the Jewish people: Purim and Pesach.”
Interesting, why does Rashi feel the need to mention Pesach? Pesach is not in the month of Adar. In fact, Pesach is exactly one month after Purim. Why did Rashi feel the need to tell us that the reason we are happy when Adar arrives is because of both Purim and Pesach? Why can’t we be happy in Adar for Purim alone? Why the need to add in Pesach?
I would like to suggest the following: If we just had Purim, which is one day, we would be happy; however, the day after Purim would be like the days before Purim. Having one good day obviously generates some simcha. However, after the day ends and we all go back to our daily routine, it’s easy to fall back into a spiritual and emotional slump. However, if we knew that this “one day” is just a preview of even bigger things, that awareness can make a lasting impact on the person.
Rashi is giving us hope. Rashi is telling all of us, “No, it’s not just one good day to look forward to. One month later we have Pesach to rejoice in!” When we realize that life always has a tomorrow to look forward to, that is a catalyst for real simcha. The one day simcha of Purim would not be enough to impact on the entire month. Rather, the realization when Adar begins that Purim is coming AND just a month later Pesach is here generates a month of simcha.
This recognition is the cause of simcha beginning already in Adar.
We all need to have something to look forward to. There always has to be a tomorrow. One day of merry-making does not a happy person make. However, when we realize that right after that day – in just one small month – an even greater redemption is coming, that is something which brings joy and happiness already at the beginning of the month of Adar. Hang in there, Purim and Pesach are just around the corner.