Adar is the twelfth month on the Jewish calendar counting from Nissan. This year is a leap year on the Jewish calendar, which occurs 7 times in a 19-year cycle (approximately once every three years), and has 13 months instead of the regular year’s 12. The added month is called “Adar I,” and is inserted before this month of Adar (termed “Adar II” in leap years). The additional month aligns the lunar months with the solar year, ensuring that the holidays fall in the proper seasons.
“When Adar enters, joy increases,” the Talmud tells us. Most months on the Hebrew calendar contain special days, but Adar is itself a special time.
The joy reaches its climax on the 14th of the month, as we celebrate Mordechai and Esther’s triumph over the wicked Haman. Upon close inspection, the “miracle of Purim” appears somewhat unmiraculous. No sea was split, no oil burned for eight days and nights—rather, it seems, the Jews were saved through a series of fortuitous coincidences. The salvation may have come through political maneuvering and other natural means, but G‑d’s hand was behind it all, our sages explain.
The spirit of Purim permeates the entire month, making it a time of unparalleled rejoicing and good mazal (fortune) for the Jewish people.