The 9th plague to strike the Egyptians for their refusal to release the Children of Israel from slavery -- a thick darkness that blanketed the land so that "no man saw his fellow, and no man could move from his place" (Exodus 10:23) -- commenced on the 1st of Adar, six weeks before the Exodus.
Adar 1 is also the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the passing) of the
great Halachist Rabbi Shabtai Hakohen Katz (1621-1663?), author of the
Siftei Cohen commentary on Rabbi Yosef Caro's Code of Jewish Law.
He is known as "Shach" -- an acronym of the name of his work, which
serves to this day as a primary source of Halachah (Jewish law).
Today is the second of the two Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") days for the month of Adar (when a month has 30 days, both the last day of the month and the first day of the following month serve as the following month's Rosh Chodesh).
Special portions are added to the daily prayers: Hallel (Psalms 113-118) is recited -- in its "partial" form -- following the Shacharit morning prayer, and the Yaaleh V'yavo prayer is added to the Amidah and to Grace After Meals; the additional Musaf prayer is said (when Rosh Chodesh is Shabbat, special additions are made to the Shabbat Musaf). Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are omitted.
Many have the custom to mark Rosh Chodesh with a festive meal and reduced work
activity. The latter custom is prevalent amongst women, who have a special
affinity with Rosh Chodesh -- the month being the feminine aspect of the
"When Adar enters," the Talmud declares, "we increase in joy." For this is "the month that was transformed for them from sorrow to joy, from mourning to festivity" (Esther 9:22) by the great miracle and victory of Purim. Our sages advise that the month of Adar is an auspicious time for the Jewish people, so that if a Jew is faced with a challenging event (i.e., a court case, a medical procedure, etc.) he should endeavor to schedule it during Adar.
The Talmud states that when a student is exiled, his teacher must be exiled with him. Not simply that he must go with him. He must be exiled with him.
Which tells us: If you truly want to teach, you must put yourself in your student’s space.
If your student has wandered far astray, tear yourself away from your own space; feel what it is like to be distant. If your student is in pain, let that pain become your pain. There must be nothing that lies between your student’s world and your own.
Teach in this way and you can bring even the most distant student to your own level of understanding. And yet higher: You will learn from this student that which you could never have learned from your own teachers and colleagues.