Dear Readers,

It’s time to get ready to celebrate! Put on your smiling, happy and celebratory faces. This Tuesday is Purim Katan, or “Little Purim.”

What is little Purim?

Every year, we celebrate the holiday of Purim on the 14th day of the month of Adar—the day established by Mordechai and Esther as a day of “feasting and rejoicing” in commemoration of the Jews’ salvation from Haman’s evil decree in the year 3,405 from creation (356 BCE).

But approximately once every three years, we experience a leap year, when the Jewish calendar contains not one but two months called Adar: Adar I and Adar II.

During a leap year, Purim is postponed until the second Adar. Nevertheless, we mark Purim Katan, “the small Purim,” on the day that would have been Purim had the year not been a leap year, in the first month of Adar, and in this way get almost a double celebration.

What do we do on Purim Katan? We don’t read the Megillah, nor is there any special mitzvah to send food portions to friends or give gifts to the poor (though that that is always as mitzvah), as is the case on the actual Purim. Be we try to increase in festivity and joy.

As Jews, we always try to be happy, celebrating being the Jewish people living in G‑d’s beautiful world. But at some times of the year, our joy is even greater. In fact, the entire month of Adar (and in this case, both the first and second month of Adar) is a time when we increase in joy due to the upcoming celebration.

Every month possesses a distinct spiritual essence. The month (or, in a leap year, two months) of Adar contains the quality of transformative joy. Adar transforms sorrow into joy, a fearful and disunified people into a unified nation, committed and devoted to G‑d and His Torah.

So when an opportunity presents itself in the first month of Adar in the form of a day that might have been Purim—the most joyous, transformative day of the year—we should certainly rejoice and celebrate.

We live in times that can often feel so dark and challenging. While sadness, despair or depression holds us back and stagnates our progress towards change, joy breaks through barriers and helps us transform ourselves and our circumstances in ways we never imagined possible.

So this week, let’s increase even more in our joy!

How will you be more joyous on Purim Katan?

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW