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The Month of Mazal

by Yehoshua Metzinger

www.kabbalaonline.org

  

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When the archenemy of the Jews, Haman, was drawing lots for an opportune time to wage his personal war against the Jews, he was delighted that the date of the deadly decree fell in the month of  Adar. The reason he was so happy was that he found that every other month on the Jewish calendar had some auspicious date to aid the Jewish people, but in Adar he saw that Moses passed away on the 7th. Haman was so sure that this date would cause misfortune for the Jewish people, that he made Adar the deadline for the decree. 

However, what Haman didn't know is that Moses was also born on the 7th of Adar, which made the month an auspicious one for the Jewish people, not only during the events of  Purim but also today. How did the joy of Moses' birthday cancel out the misfortune that the 7th was also the day of his passing, and what are the special qualities of Adar that grant the Jewish people good fortune?

Haman saw nothing particularly lucky or beneficial in the constellation of the fish
Adar is under the constellation of the fish. Haman saw nothing particularly lucky or beneficial in the constellation of the fish. He was threatening to swallow up the Jewish people like a fish swallows food. But he didn't see that there was a bigger fish, and that he would be swallowed up himself. Just as larger fish swallow smaller fish, so the tragedy of Moses' passing is swallowed up by his birth, for that joy is greater than the sadness of mourning.

How do we know this is so? The Lubavitcher Rebbe points out that a person's soul shines stronger on his or her birthday. The aspect of the soul that is contained within a person is actually a spark of the person's root  Neshamah, which stays above. This Neshamah that is above the earthly Neshamah is called "mazal". A person's mazal is stronger on the birthday because the mazal, which drips vitality into the soul, and the soul are in perfect alignment on that day.

Even though we all individually have birthdays, Moses's birthday is like the collective birthday of the Jewish people. How is this so? Because the leader of the Jewish people is equal to the Jewish people collectively.1 Since every generation has a spark of the soul of Moses, his birthday is also the birth of the essence of the souls of the Jewish people. This is why the mazal of the Jewish people is stronger in Adar.

Footnotes

  • 1. see Rashi on Num. 21:21.

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Miscellaneous » The Jewish Calendar
Holidays » Purim » About

Kosher
Literally means "fit." Commonly used to describe foods which are permitted by Jewish dietary laws, but is also used to describe religious articles (such as a Torah scroll or Sukkah) which meet the requirements of Jewish law.
Purim
A one-day holiday celebrated in late winter commemorating the miraculous deliverance of the Jewish people from a decree of annihilation issued by Persian King Ahasuerus in the year 356 BCE.
Rebbe
A Chassidic master. A saintly person who inspires followers to increase their spiritual awareness.
Lubavitcher
One who follows the teachings of the Chassidic group which was formerly based in the Belarus village of Lubavitch. Today, the movement is based in Brooklyn, New York with branches worldwide. The Lubavitch movement is also widely known as "Chabad."
Haman
Descendant of anti-Semitic tribe of Amalek and prime minister of the Persian Empire in the 5th century b.c.e. Schemed to annihilate all the Jews, and the holiday of Purim was established when the plot was foiled.
Moses
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
Adar
The twelfth month on the Jewish calendar. This month (which falls out approx. February-March), is the most joyous month on the calendar due to the holiday of Purim which is on the 14th and 15th of this month.
Tabernacle
Mobile sanctuary which traveled with the Jews in the desert, containing the Ark with the Tablets, and the sacrificial altars. When the Jews entered Israel, it was erected in the city of Shiloh where it remained for more than 300 years. It was buried when the permanent Holy Temple was erected in Jerusalem.
Shechinah
Divine Presence.
Neshamah
The soul of a Jew. This soul belongs to anyone who was born to a Jewish mother or converted according to the dictates of Jewish Law. The soul is a spark of G-d Himself.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.