Dear Readers,

On the Shabbat before every Rosh Chodesh, we bless the upcoming new month. This Shabbat, we will be blessing the month of Adar 2 since we will be celebrating Rosh Chodesh the following week.

On the Jewish calendar, every month has its own distinct flavor that reflects its spiritual essence and character. The month of Nissan, for example, has the quality of freedom. This is expressed on the holiday of Passover, the holiday of our freedom, which is celebrated on the 15th of that month.

The spiritual quality of the month of Adar is joyous transformation, which is conveyed fully on the holiday of Purim on the 14th of Adar. Purim is all about transforming sorrow into joy, desperation into salvation and worry into celebration. It is a holiday that transferred the power from a Jew-hating villain, Haman, who desired to destroy all the Jews, to the great Jewish leader, Mordechai, who together with Esther united the Jews, and helped them rededicate themselves to G‑d and Torah.

But holidays aren’t just dates that we celebrate to acknowledge an event from the past. The energy of each of these holidays and the quality of each of our months reverberates to this day. Moreover, we can tap into these energies to transform the conditions in our own lives. So, during the month of Adar, we each have the awesome ability of using the joyfulness of the month to shatter our despondency and break through all depressing, disheartening barriers. We can use the potent quality of this month to create transformative, positive change.

This year, however, is a leap year, which means that we have even greater potential. A leap year occurs every two to three years on the Jewish calendar and during it, we celebrate not one but two months of Adar. This means we have not just 30, but 60 days of transformative joy! Sixty days to totally and positively change over our lives and our world.

Sixty is actually also a very powerful number. There is a rule in Torah law that the number 60 nullifies. For example, if there is a drop of non-kosher liquid that falls into a pot of kosher soup, the non-kosher, undesirable element is “nullified” by the rest of the liquid that is 60 times its size, and it remains kosher.

Similarly, the Rebbe teaches that in a year blessed with a double, 60-day Adar, all undesirable elements—meaning all those things that cause us sadness, dejection, hurt, worry and frustration—are nullified and redirected by the transformative joy of Adar.

So as we bless the second month of Adar, let’s reflect on how we can each tap into this amazing transformative energy to create such positive and joyous change in ourselves, our surroundings and our world.

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW