December 12, 2018

Try These Two Ways to Increase Joy Today

The Talmud teaches us in Taanit 29a, “כשם שמשנכנס אב ממעטין בשמחה כך משנכנס אדר מרבין בשמחה,” “Just like as soon as [the Jewish month of] Av has entered, we decrease in happiness, so too as soon as [the Jewish month of] Adar has entered, we increase in happiness.” This teaching comes after a lengthy discussion of tragedies that befell the Jewish people with the destruction of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem. In other words, the emphasis on joy in Adar is part of the rectification of the sadness and mourning that we experience during the time when we commemorate the destruction of the Temples in Av.

With that in mind, here are two practical ideas that we can all work on to truly increase joy in our lives and in the world:

1) Make sure we greatly increase the amount of tzedakah we give so that poor people can also be happy this month. We will also be happier knowing that we are helping others.

2) Refrain from arguments even when we know we are right. Why get into a fight in a month when we are supposed to be enjoying every moment? Save the fighting for Av. And if you are still mad then, maybe there are bigger issues going on.

May we increase the amount of the joy in the world in Adar through our own actions, causing joy to spill over and impact the entire world.