Whenever Jews -- whether men or women -- meet together, "Among the multitude of the nation, is the glory of the king." When G-d sees closeness among His children -- for each Jew is G-d's only child -- it adds to "the glory of the King." In particular, this applies when that meeting is being held in a holy place, a synagogue and a house of study, and a place where tzedakah and deeds of kindness are carried out.
The above is enhanced by the time when this meeting is being held, the day after the Shabbos on which the month of Adar was blessed. The Talmud describes Adar as having "a healthy mazal." It is a month which brings the Jewish people strength and true health. Although on Rosh HaShanah, each Jew already received an inscription for a good and sweet year, in the month of Adar, G-d's blessings are renewed, intensified, and increased.
Similarly, our Sages taught, "When Adar enters, we increase joy." Although we were granted a year of joy on Rosh HaShanah, the month of Adar increases this joy immensely, affecting both the spiritual and material dimensions of our beings.
In regard to spiritual matters, in connection with Purim, our Sages explain, "[the Jews] now established what they had already accepted when the Torah had been given." They renewed their acceptance of the Torah, accepting it with greater joy than originally at the giving of the Torah on the holiday of Shavuos. This is expressed by the celebration of Purim which transcends that of all the other holidays. Indeed, this celebration is ad d'lo yoda, above all the limits of intellect.
Nevertheless, Purim is also connected with material affairs as reflected by the mitzvos instituted for the day, mishloach manos, sending portions of food, and matanos l'evyonim, giving presents to the poor. In regard to both these mitzvos, the intent is on giving material objects, providing a friend with food that he can eat, and providing a poor man with -- in addition to spiritual reinforcement -- actual money.
[This reflects how G-d created the Jewish people in a manner that it is easy for them to fulfill the mitzvah of "Love your neighbor as yourself." With only a small amount of thought, a person can appreciate the benefit he receives from being connected with other Jews. Even a rich person needs assistance from his fellow man from time to time.]
Since G-d demands that each Jew celebrate in an unlimited manner on Purim, and desires that this celebration affect both the spiritual and the material aspects of our beings, we can assume that He provides us with all that is necessary in regard to both physical and material things to enable us to celebrate in such a manner. Therefore, no great effort is needed to rejoice. Furthermore, our fulfillment of the command to increase our happiness, "Israel will rejoice in its Maker," will increase the happiness of G-d, as it were, causing that "G-d will rejoice in His deeds." The knowledge that we will bring G-d additional happiness will in turn add to our own joy.
This joy will be increased by our fulfillment of the special directive of the month of Adar, to help our fellow Jews in both spiritual and material affairs: to teach a new Torah concept that they had not known (or to reveal additional depth in a concept with which they were already familiar), and to afford them material assistance. Fulfilling these directives will increase the Jews' happiness and thus, increase G-d's happiness, as it were.
In particular, the above is relevant to Jewish women who are, akeres habayis, "the essence of the home." [It also applies to Jewish girls who are not yet married because they help their mothers and grandmothers run their homes.]
The latter point is connected with this week's Torah portion, Parshas Terumah, which describes the command to construct a Sanctuary about which it is written, "And you shall make Me a Sanctuary and I will dwell within." Noting that the Hebrew for the latter word, bitochem means "within them," rather than "within it" as might have been expected, our Rabbis explained that the Divine Presence dwells within each and every Jew. Through making G-d a Sanctuary, we cause Him to rest in each of our hearts, and thus in each of our homes. In particular, this service is carried out by Jewish women, the "essence of the home," who draw down G-dliness into each aspect of the home by increasing their Jewish practice and by doing so with happiness. Similarly, the above is enhanced by their efforts in educating their children.
These activities have a positive effect on the entire Jewish people, men, women, and children, for it causes G-d "to dwell among them." G-d has created a world which is great enough for each individual to be truly able to say, "The world was created for me." Each Jew can find a portion in the world where he can add to Yiddishkeit and bring about additional happiness. This will increase the manifestation of G-d's presence in the world, and in particular add to the manifestation of G-dliness in one's own home.
Each Jew has what to add to this world. By making this addition and increasing the Jewish content of his environment, he draws down additional Divine blessings to the world which in turn make it possible for him to carry out his service with joy and, in particular in the month of Adar, increase one's joy. This additional happiness, despite the constraints of exile, hastens the advent of the era when we will leave those constraints and experience the true and complete happiness of the Future Redemption.
The above will be enhanced by making each one of you an agent to give tzedakah and indeed to give a double amount of tzedakah, two dollars.
All of the shluchos should accept the privilege of being a shulchoh for the entire Jewish people. This in turn endows all the others with a share in the merit of the positive activities of the shluchos spreading Yiddishkeit even in far removed places, making "a dwelling for G-d in the lower worlds."
These activities will increase our happiness in the month of Adar and hasten the coming of Mashiach when the command, "And you shall make Me a Sanctuary" will be fulfilled in the most complete way, with the construction of the Third Beis HaMikdash. May it be in the immediate future.
- (Back to text) This is implied by our Sages' interpretation of the verse, "all that G-d has created to do," as "to correct," teaching that man must add to G-d's creation and this addition was intended by Him originally.
- (Back to text) The additional dollar is not a limitation, but rather signifies man's power to continuously add and increase. G-d gives us blessings and through our efforts, we can increase those blessings.