Rosh Chodesh Adar Aleph I

Adar I 5784: Courage

The first night is Friday, February 9th 2024

Spiritual Energy of the Month: Courage

Adar I 5784: Nightfall Friday, February 9th – nightfall Sunday, March 10, 2024

Pronunciation: ah-DAHR

Wellness Area: Joy & Laughter

Astrological Sign: Dagim (Pisces)

Hebrew Letter: ק Kuf

Holidays: Purim Katan, “Small Purim”

(evening of Thursday, February 22 – Friday, February 23, 2024)

Each month, At The Well shares a new Moon Manual to introduce you to the spiritual energy of that Hebrew month. These manuals are written with beginners in mind — and there is incredible depth behind each of the teachings we uplift.In the source sheet below, we're sharing direct textual references for this month. We hope this supports you in greater learning and finding even more meaning in the practice of anchoring to Jewish sacred time.Download this month's Moon Manual.

(Note: Each Moon Manual is limited-edition and available for just four weeks. Depending on when you're reading this source sheet, we may be featuring a new Moon Manual available for download.)

Purim was the first holiday initiated by the people, the first ever Rabbinical Yom Tov, occurring after the destruction of the First temple. However, although it is considered a Rabbinical Yom Tov, it was not initiated by Rabbis, but by Queen Esther herself!

"Esther sent to the Sages: 'Establish me for future generations' (Megillah, 7a). Esther initiated that the miracles of Purim be written down on a scroll, read as a Megillah, and celebrated for all time.

At this crossroads in Jewish history , the feminine was Rising, and a new way of relating to the Divine was uncovering.

The new feminine paradigm of holidays was so high and holy, that the Medrash writes in the future world of Olam Haba (known as the days of Moshiah: a oneness conciouisness), there will be no more holidays except for Purim and Hanukkah. It is interesting to note that both of these holidays had women at the center.

Now, in a Jewish Leap Year such as this one, we have a whole other month of Adar. The Mishne suggests that Purim is celebrated in Adar Bet (Megillah 6b:13). However, the spirit of Purim intoxicates both Adars. In Adar Aleph, we celebrate Purim Katan("Small Purim") on the 14th of Adar. How do we celebrate?

In the Code of Jewish Law, Rabbi Moses Isserlis writes that on Purim Katan, the practice is to increase in joy! (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 697.)

We want to uplift Purim Katan even more by inviting you to celebrate the feminine paradigm in your life.

What women have inspired you, bring you joy, and help you connect to the Divine in a new way?

Why do we have 2 Adars?

מתני׳ קראו את המגילה באדר הראשון ונתעברה השנה קורין אותה באדר שני אין בין אדר הראשון לאדר השני אלא קריאת המגילה ומתנות לאביונים:
MISHNA: If the people read the Megilla during the first Adar and subsequently the year was then intercalated by the court and now the following month will be the second Adar, one reads the Megilla again during the second Adar. The Sages formulated a principle: The difference between the first Adar and the second Adar with regard to the mitzvot that are performed during those months is only that the reading of the Megilla and distributing gifts to the poor are performed in the second Adar and not in the first Adar.

(א) חָדְשֵׁי הַשָּׁנָה הֵם חָדְשֵׁי הַלְּבָנָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר כח יד) "עלַת חֹדֶשׁ בְּחָדְשׁוֹ" וְנֶאֱמַר (שמות יב ב) "הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם רֹאשׁ חֳדָשִׁים". כָּךְ אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים הֶרְאָה לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא לְמשֶׁה בְּמַרְאֵה הַנְּבוּאָה דְּמוּת לְבָנָה וְאָמַר לוֹ כָּזֶה רְאֵה וְקַדֵּשׁ. וְהַשָּׁנִים שֶׁאָנוּ מְחַשְּׁבִין הֵם שְׁנֵי הַחַמָּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים טז א) "שָׁמוֹר אֶת חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב":

(1) The months of the year are lunar months, as it is stated (Numbers 28:14), "the monthly burnt-offering for each new moon"; and it is [also] stated (Exodus 12:2), "This month shall be for you the beginning of the months." Thus did the Sages say: The Holy One, blessed be He, showed Moshe a likeness of the moon in a prophetic vision and said to him, "See [when] it is like this, and sanctify it (as the beginning of the month)." But the years that we calculate are solar years, as it is stated (Deuteronomy 16:1), "Guard the month of the Spring."

(ב) וְכַמָּה יְתֵרָה שְׁנַת הַחַמָּה עַל שְׁנַת הַלְּבָנָה קָרוֹב מֵאַחַד עָשָׂר יוֹם. לְפִיכָךְ כְּשֶׁיִּתְקַבֵּץ מִן הַתּוֹסֶפֶת הַזֹּאת כְּמוֹ שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם אוֹ פָּחוֹת מְעַט אוֹ יוֹתֵר מְעַט מוֹסִיפִין חֹדֶשׁ אֶחָד וְעוֹשִׂין אוֹתָהּ הַשָּׁנָה שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ וְהִיא הַנִּקְרֵאת שָׁנָה מְעֵבֶּרֶת. שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לִהְיוֹת הַשָּׁנָה שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר חֹדֶשׁ וְכָךְ וְכָךְ יָמִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות יב ב) "לְחָדְשֵׁי הַשָּׁנָה". חֳדָשִׁים אַתָּה מוֹנֶה לְשָׁנָה וְאֵין אַתָּה מוֹנֶה יָמִים:

(2) The solar year exceeds the lunar year by eleven days, approximately. Hence, whenever this excess accumulates to about thirty days, somewhat more or less, one month is added and the year is made up of thirteen months and is called leap year. The year cannot consist of twelve months plus several days, because it is written: "Months of the year" (Exodus 12:2), implying that the year should be reckoned by months and not by days.

(א) שָׁנָּה מְעֻבֶּרֶת הִיא שָׁנָה שֶׁמּוֹסִיפִין בָּהּ חֹדֶשׁ. וְאֵין מוֹסִיפִין לְעוֹלָם אֶלָּא אֲדָר וְעוֹשִׂין אוֹתָהּ שָׁנָה שְׁנֵי אֲדָרִין אֲדָר רִאשׁוֹן וַאֲדָר שֵׁנִי. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה מוֹסִיפִין חֹדֶשׁ זֶה מִפְּנֵי זְמַן הָאָבִיב כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהֵא הַפֶּסַח בְּאוֹתוֹ זְמַן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים טז א) "שָׁמוֹר אֶת חֹדֶשׁ הָאָבִיב" שֶׁיִּהְיֶה חֹדֶשׁ זֶה בִּזְמַן הָאָבִיב. וְלוּלֵא הוֹסָפַת הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה הַפֶּסַח בָּא פְּעָמִים בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה וּפְעָמִים בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים:

(1) A leap year is a year to which an extra month is added. Only Adar is the month that is ever added, so that a leap year has two months of Adar: a first Adar and a second Adar. Why is just this month added? Because of the spring season, so that Pesaḥ should be observed during the barley season, as it is written: "Observe the month of Aviv, and keep the Passover…" (Deuteronomy 16:1), implying that this month of Nisan should occur during the spring. Without the addition of this month of Adar, Passover would occur sometimes in the summer and sometimes in the rainy season [of winter].

(כ) וַיִּכְתֹּ֣ב מָרְדֳּכַ֔י אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֖ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח סְפָרִ֜ים אֶל־כָּל־הַיְּהוּדִ֗ים אֲשֶׁר֙ בְּכָל־מְדִינוֹת֙ הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵר֔וֹשׁ הַקְּרוֹבִ֖ים וְהָרְחוֹקִֽים׃ (כא) לְקַיֵּם֮ עֲלֵיהֶם֒ לִהְי֣וֹת עֹשִׂ֗ים אֵ֠ת י֣וֹם אַרְבָּעָ֤ה עָשָׂר֙ לְחֹ֣דֶשׁ אֲדָ֔ר וְאֵ֛ת יוֹם־חֲמִשָּׁ֥ה עָשָׂ֖ר בּ֑וֹ בְּכָל־שָׁנָ֖ה וְשָׁנָֽה׃ (כב) כַּיָּמִ֗ים אֲשֶׁר־נָ֨חוּ בָהֶ֤ם הַיְּהוּדִים֙ מֵא֣וֹיְבֵיהֶ֔ם וְהַחֹ֗דֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר֩ נֶהְפַּ֨ךְ לָהֶ֤ם מִיָּגוֹן֙ לְשִׂמְחָ֔ה וּמֵאֵ֖בֶל לְי֣וֹם ט֑וֹב לַעֲשׂ֣וֹת אוֹתָ֗ם יְמֵי֙ מִשְׁתֶּ֣ה וְשִׂמְחָ֔ה וּמִשְׁל֤וֹחַ מָנוֹת֙ אִ֣ישׁ לְרֵעֵ֔הוּ וּמַתָּנ֖וֹת לָֽאֶבְיוֹנִֽים׃

(20) Mordecai recorded these events. And he sent dispatches to all the Jews throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus, near and far, (21) charging them to observe the fourteenth and fifteenth days of Adar, every year— (22) the same days on which the Jews enjoyed relief from their foes and the same month which had been transformed for them from one of grief and mourning to one of festive joy. They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, and as an occasion for sending gifts to one another and presents to the poor.

״מְקַדֵּשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַזְּמַנִּים״! — יִשְׂרָאֵל דְּקַדְּשִׁינְהוּ לִזְמַנִּים. ״מְקַדֵּשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְרָאשֵׁי חֳדָשִׁים״! — יִשְׂרָאֵל דְּקַדְּשִׁינְהוּ לְרָאשֵׁי חֳדָשִׁים.

Levi cited two other blessings: Who sanctifies Israel and the seasons. It means: Who sanctifies Israel, who sanctify the seasons. Who sanctifies Israel and the New Moon. It means: Who sanctifies Israel, who sanctify the New Moons.
Purim Katan

(ד) קָרְאוּ אֶת הַמְּגִלָּה בַּאֲדָר הָרִאשׁוֹן וְנִתְעַבְּרָה הַשָּׁנָה, קוֹרִין אוֹתָהּ בַּאֲדָר הַשֵּׁנִי, אֵין בֵּין אֲדָר הָרִאשׁוֹן לַאֲדָר הַשֵּׁנִי אֶלָּא קְרִיאַת הַמְּגִלָּה וּמַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיוֹנִים:

(4) If the Megillah was read in first of Adar, and the year was [subsequently] intercalated, we read it in second of Adar. There is no difference between the first Adar and the second Adar except the reading of the Megillah and alms to the poor.

(תרפט) בשנה מעוברת, יום י''ד וט''ו שבאדר ראשון, אף על פי שאין קוראים בהם המגילה, מכל מקום אסורים בהספד ותענית, ואין נופלים על פניהם, ואין אומרים בהם בתפלה מזמור יענך ה' ביום צרה, ומזמור תפלה לדוד. ונכון לנהוג בהם מקצת משתה ושמחה, י''ד לבני פרזים, וט''ו לבני ירושלים. ומה שאין קוראים המגילה באדר ראשון, לפי שנאמר (מגילת אסתר ט כא), לקיים עליהם להיות עושים את יום י''ד וט''ו''בכל שנה ושנה'', מה בכל שנה אדר הסמוך לניסן, אף בשנה מעוברת אין הפורים נוהג אלא באדר הסמוך לניסן, ולסמוך גאולה לגאולה, דהיינו לסמוך פורים לפסח, עדיף.

During a leap year, the 14th and 15th days of Adar Rishon, even though we don’t read the Megilla on them, nevertheless it is forbidden to give a eulogy or fast, and we don’t say Tachanun, and we don’t say Lamnatzeach. It is good to behave a little happier than usual and feast a little, on the 14th for the villages (outside of the walled cities), and on the 15th for the walled cities. And we don’t read the Megilla during Adar Rishon, like it says in מגילת אסתר ט כא, that is referring to the Adar that is next to Nissan, but during a leap year, we don’t celebrate Purim other than during the Adar that is next to Nissan. This is because we want to put redemption with redemption, that is Purim and Pesach, it is good.

עַל שְׁלֹשָׁה סִימָנִין מְעַבְּרִין אֶת הַשָּׁנָה. עַל הַתְּקוּפָה וְעַל הָאָבִיב וְעַל פֵּרוֹת הָאִילָן. כֵּיצַד. בֵּית דִּין מְחַשְּׁבִין וְיוֹדְעִין אִם תִּהְיֶה תְּקוּפַת נִיסָן בְּשִׁשָּׁה עָשָׂר בְּנִיסָן אוֹ אַחַר זְמַן זֶה מְעַבְּרִין אוֹתָהּ הַשָּׁנָה. וְיַעֲשׂוּ אוֹתוֹ נִיסָן אֲדָר שֵׁנִי כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַפֶּסַח בִּזְמַן הָאָבִיב. וְעַל סִימָן זֶה סוֹמְכִין וּמְעַבְּרִין וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לְסִימָן אַחֵר:
For three indicators do we make the year a leap year. For the season, for the Spring [state of the barley] and for the fruit of the trees. How is that? The court calculates and determines – if the season of Nissan (when the sun enters Aries) will be on the sixteenth of Nissan or after that time, they make that year into a leap year. And they make that Nissan [into] Second Adar, so that Passover will be during the time of Spring. And we may rely on this indicator and make leap years, and [then] not be concerned about another indicator.

(א) שמור את חדש האביב שמור בהתמדת השגחה שיהי' ניסן חדש האביב ע''י עבורי החדשים והשנים שיכוונו בהם שני הלבנה עם שני החמה:

(1) שמור את חודש האביב, make sure that the month of Nissan always occurs in the spring, by manipulating the calendar, if necessary and inserting an extra month of Adar. By doing this the solar orbit (year) and the lunar orbits, (12 moons equaling a year) can be brought into line with each other.

(יב) וַיַּגִּ֣ידוּ לְמָרְדֳּכָ֔י אֵ֖ת דִּבְרֵ֥י אֶסְתֵּֽר׃ (פ) (יג) וַיֹּ֥אמֶר מָרְדֳּכַ֖י לְהָשִׁ֣יב אֶל־אֶסְתֵּ֑ר אַל־תְּדַמִּ֣י בְנַפְשֵׁ֔ךְ לְהִמָּלֵ֥ט בֵּית־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ מִכָּל־הַיְּהוּדִֽים׃ (יד) כִּ֣י אִם־הַחֲרֵ֣שׁ תַּחֲרִישִׁי֮ בָּעֵ֣ת הַזֹּאת֒ רֶ֣וַח וְהַצָּלָ֞ה יַעֲמ֤וֹד לַיְּהוּדִים֙ מִמָּק֣וֹם אַחֵ֔ר וְאַ֥תְּ וּבֵית־אָבִ֖יךְ תֹּאבֵ֑דוּ וּמִ֣י יוֹדֵ֔עַ אִם־לְעֵ֣ת כָּזֹ֔את הִגַּ֖עַתְּ לַמַּלְכֽוּת׃

(12) When Mordecai was told what Esther had said, (13) Mordecai had this message delivered to Esther: “Do not imagine that you, of all the Jews, will escape with your life by being in the king’s palace. (14) On the contrary, if you keep silent in this crisis, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, while you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows, perhaps you have attained to royal position for just such a crisis.”

“. . .when we speak of joy here, we are not speaking of fun. Joy is a deep release of the soul, and it includes death and pain. Joy is any feeling fully felt, any experience we give our whole being to. We are conditioned to choose pleasure and to reject pain, but the truth is, any moment of our life fully inhabited, any feeling fully felt, and any immersion in the full depth of life, can be the source of deep joy.”

-Rabbi Alan Lew, From This is Real and You are Completely Unprepared

“By means of the joy that results from his rejoicing in the suffering, he elevates [the Divine Presence]”(Likuetei Moharan 12:4)

Journal Prompts for Adar:

  • How are you feeling, truly, in this moment?
  • How do you hold both grief and joy simultaneously?
  • How would you define joy?