by Elisheva Eisenberg, Grade 11

For the next two days, we will be celebrating Rosh Chodesh Adar Bet. There is something special about Adar that differentiates it from all other months. In Perek Tet of Megillat Esther it says, “והחדש אשר נהפך מיגון לשמחה”. This means, the month was reversed for the Jews from one of grief to one of joy.

In Masechet Ta’anit, it says, “מי שנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה”, translated as, “When the month of Adar enters, we increase in joy.” From these two sources we learn that the general theme of the month of Adar is happiness.

There are many other sources that allow Adar to be known as the happy month. The one I would like to focus on is  “ליהודים היתה אורה ושמחה וששון ויקר”. A question arises as to why both the words “Sasson” and “Simcha” were used, since they both mean happiness? The answer is that the word “Sasson” really has a deeper meaning of internal happiness, while “Simcha” means external happiness. After being saved in the story of Purim, not only did the Jews feel Sasson – internal and emotional happiness – they also felt Simcha – external happiness – where they danced, sang and celebrated for having been saved from the decree of Haman.

As a student at our wonderful school, I am proud to say that Hebrew Academy does a great job at making each and every student feel both Sasson and Simcha through our extra-curricular activities, Jewish offerings and programs.Students get to have Chavrutot in the Kollel, make unbelievable friendships, and have the opportunity to be leaders within the school, which all result in a stronger feeling of internal happiness. We are also privileged to feel external happiness, through Rosh Chodesh dancing, competing in Colour War and playing on the Hebrew Academy sports teams.

It is important for the success of each student to learn in an environment where they feel comfortable and happy. Thanks to Hebrew Academy, we do feel tremendously happy. This enables us to learn at our best and be as successful as we can be.

Chodesh Tov! I would like to wish you all nothing but Sasson and Simcha.

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