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משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה

By: הרב רונן נויברט

In order to welcome Chodesh Adar, we sing "משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה". This is actually only a partial phrase derived from a statement of Chazal in the Gemara (Ta´anit 29a): "כשם שמשנכנס אב ממעטין בשמחה, כך משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה

 


משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה  - Rav Ronen Neuwirth


In order to welcome Chodesh Adar, we sing "משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה". This is actually only a partial phrase derived from a statement of Chazal in the Gemara (Ta'anit 29a): "כשם שמשנכנס אב ממעטין בשמחה, כך משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה " - "Just as joy is reduced from the start of Av, likewise, so is joy is increased at the start of Adar". According to this Gemara, there is a strong tie between Chodesh Adar to Chodesh Av. Perhaps, what Chazal are trying to imply is that roots of the mourning in Av are, in fact, the same roots of the rejoicing in Adar - - "כשם ש ... כך מש. What are those common roots?


After Bnei Yisrael heard the report of the meraglim (spies) the Torah tells us, "And the entire community rose in uproar and began to cry" (Bamidbar 14:1) "This took place on Tisha B'Av eve. G-d then said to them: Since you wept for no reason, I will designate a weeping for generations..."(Ta'anit 29a)


According to Chazal , the roots of Av lie within the sin of the spies. Those spies were actually the leaders of Am Yisrael in the desert. Why didn't those spiritual leaders want to enter Eretz Yisrael? After witnessing all the miraculously redemption from Egypt, after Pharaoh, "the king of the world" was defeated, the least that was expected of those leaders is to believe in the power of Hashem and to trust Him to fulfill his promise of Eretz Yisrael!? 


The Sfat Emet (Admor of Gur) had a brilliant insight on this issue. The spies were indeed Gdolim (righteous). They had very good intentions. They really liked the spiritual issues of life in the desert. Having heavenly bread - manna, each and every day, revealing the Shechina clearly, following the fire and the cloud pillars, those are positive symbols, which are not easy to duplicate. The spies were sure that for Am Yisrael who were totally immersed in a spiritual environment at the time, entering Eretz Yisrael would be a disaster.  Surely they believed that they could defeat the enemies in Eretz Yisrael, with the help of Hashem, but an army would need to be established for that purpose. Also, there would be a need to establish political and economical systems, in order to efficiently settle in Eretz Yisrael - the land that is flowing milk and honey. If Am Yisrael will have to deal with all those tasks- who will sit and study Torah? We will lose our spiritual level, and our religious focus!!! Therefore the spies decided to do a "favor" for Hashem - let's stay here in the Galut where we can serve you much better than from Eretz Yisrael - it is for the sake of the Torah!!! 


The root of this sin was the lack of ability to integrate or synthesize heaven and earth. The Torah of Eretz Yisrael provides us with the skills to uplift mundane matters to a level of kedusha (holiness.) In Eretz Yisrael the Avoda (labor) is an integral part of the Torah fulfillment. The Torah cannot be fully accomplished without the Avoda component. Hashem prefers us to elevate the earthly bread that was formed in the ground by our efforts - המוציא לחם מן הארץ - than eating the heavenly bread - the manna.


This is precisely the Tikun (correction) of Purim. On Purim we experience the worldly matters at their extreme. We have commandments of eating, drinking, rejoicing and so on, but the purpose on Purim is to demonstrate how we can elevate these usually mundane acts and infuse them with a higher level of holiness in service to Hashem. The Simcha of Purim is based on experiencing the harmony between the two, seemingly contradicting worlds, the physical and spiritual. On Purim, Hashem grants the ability to experience the material world in a spiritual manner, and in that sense, Purim is the festival of Torah V'Avodah!


Best wishes for a joyous Adar to all.