Shabbat we read the portion of Mishpatim and we bless the first month of
Adar. This year is a leap year, so there is an additional month of Adar.
The Talmud teaches that when the month of Adar arrives, we increase in
joy. The Mazal of the Jewish people is strong in this month. When we
have two months of Adar, we have a double measure of joy. Although the
Hebrew months generally alternate between 29 and 30 days, the first
month of Adar is a full 30 days, allowing 60 days of joy.
portion of Mishpatim primarily discusses Jewish civil law. The Torah not
only directs our spiritual lives, but also creates a civil justice
system of responsibility and compassion. The portion later discusses
details concerning the giving of the Torah that were not mentioned in
last week’s portion. We will seek to find the connection between these
ideas and the months of joy.
Before receiving the Torah, the Jewish people promised that whatever
Hashem commands we will do and we will hear. Seemingly,
the order is unusual. First one hears what to do, and then one does it.
“Hearing” in this verse has a deeper meaning, understanding. The Jewish
people promised firstly to do: an unequivocal acceptance of whatever
Hashem would command. Thereafter they promised to “hear,” to seek to
understand the words of the Torah. Our understanding of the Torah is
based on our acceptance of Hashem’s will rather than our acceptance of
His commandments being based on our understanding.
gives us a special insight to the Mishpatim, the Torah’s civil laws.
Although the Mishpatim are generally laws of logic, we fulfill them not
because we agree with the logic of the Torah, but rather because
they are the laws of the Torah.
is connected to the months of joy. The Talmud teaches that there is no
joy like freedom from uncertainty. When we rely on our own logic, it may
be flawed. When we follow the Mishpatim of the Torah, we are
positive we are doing the right thing. Furthermore, the Mishpatim allow
us to make our most mundane affairs a form of contact with G-d. When we
live according to the Mishpatim, our commerce and interactions are all
parts of one great Mitzvah.
word Adar is related to the word Adir, which means mighty. Rejoicing
during these sixty days is a vessel for Hashem’s blessings in
everything. Further, the Rebbe has taught that through joy in these
sixty days we can overcome negative decrees. The word Adar is a
composite of Aleph and Dar. Aleph symbolizes Hashem, who is One. Dar
means to dwell. Adar is the perfect time to establish Hashem’s dwelling
place in this world in the rebuilt Temple with the coming of Moshiach.
May Hashem grant that we immediately share in that joy!
Shalom and Chodesh Tov!
Dedicated to Avraham Hakohen Beyda on the occasion of his Brit. May he
be imbued with the true spirit of Torah and bring abundant joy to his
family and community.
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