Adar: Revealing Laughter

Laughter in Adar

(excerpt from Adar Rosh Chodesh Guide)

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?

Hamsa AmuletDagim, Pisces, the astrological sign for the month is a hint at what the month about.  According to Inner.org,”fish are the creatures of the “hidden world” (the sea). So are the souls of Israel “fish” that swim in the waters of the Torah. The true identity and fortune of Israel is invisible in this world.” But this is only part of the story of Purim.  Fish are also symbols of fertility and purity (as they were not destroyed during The Flood). Many hamsa amulets also have fish on them and I’ve seen Jewish fertility amulets with fish, as well.  Fish live in a hidden world and are mysteriously beautiful.  But the world below the sea, is one of darkness where the light disappears the further down we dive.  Is our laughter is more revealing than we might think or hiding the truth?

We plunge into darkness as Adar begins because, according to tradition, the Plague of Darkness fell on the Egyptians on the first of Adar.  What does this mean? What do we learn when we are in darkness?  What is revealed in the absence of light? Why are we so afraid of the dark?  In the dark there is no moon to light our way.  According to Chabad, “the Jewish people is symbolized by the moon because, although the moon wanes, it waxes as well. It stands for hope, for the confidence that there is a future as well as a past. This vibrancy assures that any conquest of the Jewish people can never be more than temporary. Israel may seem to disappear from the panorama of history – but so does the moon. The moon returns – and Israel, by means of the power vested in it by the Torah, sanctifies the New Month. So, too, the nation constantly renews its vigor, constantly defies the laws of history that insist it should have long since become extinct, constantly demonstrates its ability to make itself the vehicle for the prophecies of redemption and a greater spiritual world.”  Of course we are afraid of a moonless night, because it can trigger a frightening vision of a world where we don’t exist.  So, why do we laugh?

Moon Tarot CardThe hidden world is another element of the Moon Card. Purim is about revealing the hidden and a little bit of lunacy.  What else can be revealed in the laughter of Adar?  According to Aeclectic.net, “with Pisces as its ruling sign, the Moon is all about visions and illusions, madness, genius and poetry. This is a card that has to do with sleep, and so with both dreams and nightmares. It is a scary card in that it warns that there might be hidden enemies, tricks and falsehoods. “But it should also be remembered that this is a card of great creativity, of powerful magic, primal feelings and intuition. The Querent who gets this card should be warned that they may be going through a time of emotional and mental trial; if they have any past mental problems, they must be vigilant in taking their medication. They should avoid drugs or alcohol, as abuse of either will cause them irreparable damage. This time however, can also result in great creativity, psychic powers, visions and insight. They can and should trust their intuition.” This seems a perfect description of the stories in the Book of Esther.  It is also apropos that the card of the month is the Moon, because this is also Shabbat haChodesh when we sanctify the new moon before Nissan. But, why do we laugh?

We laugh because we are happy.  We laugh because we are sad.  We laugh when we are frightened.  Laughter is what breaks the tension. We laugh because we must.   Laughter is what transmutes anything into joy, including tears. We laugh because the Fool the Kesilah, the Leitzanit, is a path of Shekhinah that the Jewish people know the importance of and have turned to in good times and bad

It is time to laugh, play and enjoy with others, because “when Adar arrives, we increase our joy.” (Talmud – Taanit 29a)

For more about the month of Adar, subscribe to the monthly Rosh Chodesh Guides

[tags]adar, wheel of the year, moon, purim, dagim, ohevet, judaism, jewish[/tags}