The moon, the card of Adar, is the card of lunacy, which makes sense. The traditional Waite-Smith card shows a remote landscape at the edge of civilization with a dog, a wolf and a crustacean howling at the moon. There is a long path ahead in this card and it is not an easy one. We’ve passed the Star (Shevat), the card of Adar which restored our sense of wellbeing and guided us to this place. Now the moon is the brightest object in the sky. This is a month of lunacy and heightened sensitivities. While loaded with humor, it is also fraught with dangers. As the Story of Esther teaches us, if we reveal too much too soon, we may be in peril. The story of Esther also teaches us that if we are perceptive and reveal things in just the right moment, then we can become the Emperor (Nisan).
In this month of Adar, use humor wisely. Be perceptive to the things that are hidden from plain sight. Be aware of the things you should not be revealing just yet. Use stagecraft and good planning to ensure that you, and your community, flourish and prosper.
Iyyar (אִייָר), according to tradition, is an acronym for Ani Adonai Rofecha, “I am G-d your Healer“ (Exodus 15:26) generally falls between the months of April and May. According to Inner.org, “Isaachar is the scholarly tribe [associated with Iyyar]. Iyyar is the month of introspection for self-improvement.” This beautifully describes the modern approach to counting the omer. It is a time to explore our relationship to ourselves and the world, and can be a time for deep spiritual healing. There are two phases to the healing of Iyyar. The month, according to the system developed by Rabbi Jill Hammer in the Jewish Book of Days, moves from the elements of Earth within Air to Water within Fire. This is also reflected in the kabbalistic system associated with the counting of the omer during the month of Iyyar.
Passover menu planning is always a fun experience for me. I just love food and creating a menu that enhances the spiritual experience of the seder is a great exercise. I like to try a few new things every year, but also mix in a few fan favorites. This year I’m bringing back the charoset sampler, but the rest of the menu is new. I hope this menu works well the with the latest version of the Peeling a Pomegranate Haggadah (shameless plug, I know).
Below you’ll find my final menu with links to either the recipe, if I found it online, or the book it can be found in. As I have a freezer full of local beef, I opted to serve meat this year. Be sure to see my 5768 menu, if you are looking for a vegetarian Passover menu. I always try to serve a few good Kosher wines, just to prove to the skeptics that they exist. I discovered a new winery this year: Yogev. The store had a tasting, and I bought two bottles. They are both blends. The Shiraz blend is a smoky flavor which made me think it would go well with a mushroom dish (which I’m not making) and the Merlot blend is a nice spicy wine -which is exactly the opposite of what I would have thought. I’m not great at wine-pairing, so I hope these and whatever my guests bring will go well with the food.
Adar begins at Sundown February 24, 2009 and ends at Sundown March 25, 2009
What is revealed with laughter? Adar is a month of joy and laughter and of mysteries revealed, which clearly relates to the holiday of Purim. On Purim we are commanded to let our hair down and be silly, which is not the norm in Judaism. We release our inner “monkeys”, one meaning of the letter Kuf, and play and laugh. But the story of Purim is not a silly one. There is darkness, descent, courage, and change. It is a story of love both good and bad. So, why do we laugh?