Dear Readers,

Someone very dear to me recently had a health scare.

Until I got that phone call on Sunday morning, I had taken her health for granted. I also didn’t think so much about how much she meant to me or when was the last time that I told her I love her.

But once I heard that she was taken to the hospital, my heart fell like a heavy knot into the pit of my stomach. I couldn’t stop visualizing her. As much as I tried to train my mind to think positive thoughts—that this was just a scare and everything would be all right—chilling warnings crept into the dusty corners of my brain.

I paced the kitchen, cleaned the floor that was already spotless, said several verses of Psalms and then just tried to keep busy so my mind wouldn’t go into overdrive. Since she wasn’t within driving distance, I couldn’t jump into the car to visit. Instead, I checked my messages over and over to hear any good news.

It finally came by Sunday evening. The scans and tests that they had done came back negative. The doctors ruled out anything serious. Thank G‑d, she was sent back home to rest and recuperate. I finally heaved a sigh of relief, and my breathing returned to its regular pace. I was overcome with gratitude.

By Sunday evening, the situation had returned to what it had been the week before, but by then, I was in a completely different mind space. Now, I was able to appreciate our good fortune. Now I was able to feel immense joy for what I had.

We don’t always recognize the simple blessings in our life—being alive, healthy, having food to eat or a job that pays the bills. But we do recognize a scare or something that doesn’t look positive. When we are faced with a threat and it’s turned around, our relief becomes palpable. Our happiness intensifies even more than before the hardship.

This is the joy of the month of Adar. It is a joy that comes from overcoming a terrible decree. Destruction was pronounced on our nation, and miraculously, all were saved.

The month that was reversed for them from grief to joy” (Esther 9:22).And that is why, “When the month of Adar enters, we increase in joy” (Talmud, Taanit 29a).

The word Adar is very similar to the word adir, “powerful,” in the verse of Psalms (Chapter 93): “Adir [powerful] on high is G‑d.”

While we may sometimes fail to recognize G‑d in all the straightforward goodness that He brings to our lives, we become aware of His great power and turn to Him with overwhelming thanks when our challenge has been overturned and transformed into an open blessing or miracle.

May G‑d transform all our personal and collective hardships into the greatest joy!

Chana Weisberg

Editor, TJW