Adar / אֲדָר‎

Moon of Revealing (February/March)
Be perceptive to the things that may be hidden from plain sight and reveal things in their right time.

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Basics

  • Linear Month: 6
  • Torah Month: 12
  • Season: Spring
  • Holidays:  Purim
  • Offerings1: Hamentaschen, Poppy Seeds, and Myrhh   “As myrrh (mor) is the foremost of spices so Mordecai was the foremost of the righteous in his generation (Esther Rabbah 2.5),”
  • Element2: Aphar (עָפָר) Earth within Ruach (רוּחַ) Air
  • Spiritual Focus3:  
  • Netivah: Leitzanit (ליצנית) Sacred Fool
  • Astrological Sign:  Dagim (דגים) Pisces
  • Letter: Kuf (ק)
  • Tribe: Dinah (Adar I) and Naphtali (Adar II)
  • Sense: Laughter
  • Tarot Card4: The Fool
  • Soul Trait5: Zehirut (זהירות) Illuminated Awareness

Note: Letter, Tribe, and Sense are derived from the Sefer Yetzirah
See NOTES for additional information on sources of these all correspondences.


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What so many of us know about the holiday of Purim is what we can remember from the reading of the Megilah, getting to scream and yell in Synagogue, and, well, getting really…really….lit. Nothing like a Jewish holiday where we are actually supposed to get drunk and party. Yes. It’s the Jewish Mardi Gras.

All of that is amazing, fun and good.

But there is another tradition of Purim that I think we should all be talking about and more importantly DOING: Mishloach Manot (aka Shalach Manot).

Simply, this mitzvah is about the giving of two kinds of food gifts to someone. Mostly now it seems to be about giving a couple of kinds of hamentaschen to your grandmother. But there is such a clearer, deeper reason for this. Purim falls just as the winter is coming to an end. The time when in another era, in an agrarian culture, many people would be wondering if they would make it to spring. The time of year when the root cellar would be down to the last of its stock and only the meagerest of offerings were coming out of the earth.

We think this is a thing of the past, but for those who are socio-economically disadvantaged — aka poor — this is a hard time of year. Over the “winter gift giving holidays” people do things like donate food and money to food pantries and other charities that help feed people. This time of year, food pantries begin to struggle. “Seasonal” work that supports so many working poor, is at its slowest — whether that is retail, construction, or farming.

Adar is supposed to be a month of increasing joy. What if. What if. What if?

What if all of us who can afford it share just a little bit with those that can’t and increase their joy? I’m talking specifically through food. Whether it’s a donation to a food pantry of two kinds of soups, home baked goods that you take to senior center, or just that surprise package you send to grandma. Purim is a holiday of revealing the hidden. The issues around food justice are a hidden ill of our society. Let’s use our amazing, fun, celebratory holiday to do something about this.

What do you say?


Key Dates in Adar

1stRosh Chodesh Adar
13thTalmud “completed” 475 CE
14thReuben ben Yisrael born 1568 BCE (traditional)
21stAlexander the Great meets High Priest of Temple 313BCE (traditional)
25th1st Hanukkah Candle (Sundown 12/21/2008)
Winter Solstice
Cain kills Able 3720 BCE (traditional)
Mishkan completed 1312 BCE (traditional)
26thFirst synagogue dedicated in United States 1763 CE
27thRains of Great Flood cease 2105 BCE (traditional)
Find Gregorian Calendar Dates: https://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/

Shabbat Torah/Haftarah Readings

YearPortions
5781Parashat Mishpatim
Parashat Terumah
Parashat Tetzaveh
Parashat Ki Tisa
Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei
5782Parashat Terumah
Parashat Tetzaveh
Parashat Ki Tisa
Parashat Vayakhel
5782 (Adar II)Parashat Pekudei
Parashat Vayikra
Parashat Tzav
Parashat Shmini
5783Parashat Terumah
Parashat Tetzaveh
Parashat Ki Tisa
Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei
5784Parashat Terumah
Parashat Tetzaveh
Parashat Ki Tisa
Parashat Vayakhel
5784 (Adar II)Parashat Pekudei
Parashat Vayikra
Parashat Tzav
Parashat Shmini
5785Parashat Terumah
Parashat Tetzaveh
Parashat Ki Tisa
Parashat Vayakhel
Parashat Pekudei
For more see: https://www.hebcal.com/sedrot/
Note some months the parshiot fluctuate and in others it is always consistent.

Netivah Readings

These readings were selected by Kohenet Ketzirah HaMa’agelet to pair with the weekly Torah portions.

  • Sarah Laughed (Genesis 18:9-18:15 / Genesis 21:1-21:7) In Genesis, Chapter 18, Sarah laughs at the idea of having a child at her old age.  She laughs at/with God – but does she laugh mockingly or just with wonder?  She even names her child Yitzhak, which stems from the word for laughter.    Modern priestesses often look to Sarah as a priestess archetype but she is also the Path of the Fool.  How can both be embodied in the same woman?  Simply because each of us contains all the paths within us, and on the Wheel of the Netivot the Fool is the opposite of the Priestess.  They balance each other ensuring that both do their sacred work. Purim Katan is a “little” Purim that invites us to laugh and be joyful in this trickster month of Adar during the leap year.  Purim is celebrated in Adar II during the leap year.

Go Deeper:


Notes

1: Offerings & symbols were developed by Kohenet Ketzirah haMa’agelet for use as physical offering practices or in artwork.

2: Elements follow R’Jill Hammer’s elemental system as explained on her website www.telshemesh.org and her book The Jewish Book of Days. See pages 16-19 for explanation of elemental system.

The interpretations of the Sephirot are also from Rabbi Jill’s teachings.  Specifically, they are from her Omer Calendar of Bibilical Women.

3: The spiritual focus is my own concept of sustainable spiritual practice.  It is based on my interpretation of the wheel of the year and the Jewish holidays, as taught by many.  The specific focus is for a season, as based on the element have/need system taught by R’Jill Hammer in the The Jewish Book of Days, as referenced above.  For example Autumn is the time of Air within Earth, we have Earth we need Air and is the spiritual focus of Community (Air) within Resources (Earth) or more simply: communal resources.  

4: While tarot is not intrinsically Jewish, it is a derivative of Kabbalah and a can be a useful tool for self discovery and exploration. Tarot correspondences here follow Kabbalistic tree of life by Issac ben Luria, the Ari, as opposed to some of the more common Christian systems.

5: The soul-traits for each month are based on Kesharim K’doshim Mussar, developed by Kohenet Ketzirah HaMa’agelet.

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