Tap into the Joy of Adar
By Yehudit Garmaise
"When Adar enters, we increase in joy," (Ta’anit, 29a) tells us, but what if we are having trouble accessing that simcha, as we start to prepare for Purim, which is now just 13 days away?
How do we tap into the simcha that is within ourselves and in the air in Adar Sheini?
Every day, we have to honestly ask ourselves whether we are making an effort to feel simcha, which we know is an avodah. When we find ourselves spiraling into negativity, do we gently redirect our thoughts to something more pleasant?
The Maggid of Mezeritch, the Baal Shem Tov’s successor, compared our work to tamp down negative thoughts to how we would respond to a small kitchen fire that, if not immediately extinguished, would burn down our houses.
Instead of allowing the flames of negativity to consume us, instead, we can keep our refuse to give in to negativity and redirect our ideas to ones that keep ourselves and our loved ones alight with the energy and warmth of simcha.
We also must ask ourselves, ‘Am I doing what I was put on this earth to do?’
“Happy is the one who can fulfill his tafkid, living up to his shelichus,” writes Rabbi Yaakov Bender, the rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Darchei Torah in Rav Bender on Chumash.
When we are doing what we are meant to be doing on this world, we are filled with a sense of meaning and joy.
Therefore, we should ask ourselves, on what tasks can we best and most intently focus? What feels like play and not work?
When we think back to our childhoods, what did we most enjoy doing? What most captured our imaginations?
We also have to recall: What images continue to rivet us from things we have seen in the world?
Hashem gives us glimpses of our “completions,” but we have to pursue the mysterious, but persistent clues we are given to find our ways to our true missions which is the ultimate way to achieve happiness.
Finally, we can increase the peace and simcha the world needs right now by avoiding conflicts at all costs and always looking to see what others might be experiencing.
In the zchus of us bringing shalom and simcha to our personal lives, may there be increasing shalom and simcha everywhere.