משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמח 'Mishenichnas Adar marbin b'simcha' (as Adar approaches, we increase our level of simcha). Adar is here and so we are supposed to increase our level of simcha (joy). But guess what, it don't come easy. So what's the flip side? Our yetzer also knows that it is the month of Adar and is hard at work trying to steal this simcha from us. Around every corner it is there waiting to try and steal joy from you.
So what do you do? Hold on tight man! Don't let go of your joy for anything. If you feel it slipping from you, laugh in the yetzer's face and grab it back! And then sing and dance and thank Hashem that He gave you the strength to do it!
I was in the marching band in High School (yes, Philly was a Band Geek ;-) ) in the 'Silk squad', y'know the really big flags that you twirl around and throw in the air. Well, I remember one day while we were out practicing for the upcoming homecoming parade, a football player from our rival school came out of nowhere and tried to steal my flag from me. He grabbed it and pulled with all his strength, I imagine thinking this would be an easy trophy to capture and display at school the next day. Let me tell you, I held onto that flag for dear life, so much so that he drug me across the concrete and I hurt my knee badly in the process. He finally gave up when he realized I was not letting go. I was a little bruised in the process but I still had my flag!
What was this flag? What did it really mean? The only thing I can figure is that it was mine, and I was not about to allow some rival football player to steal it from me and then brag about how he got it!
Well, isn't my joy much more precious! Isn't Adar more important than any parade. Who knew Hashem was preparing me for this month back when I was only 15 years old. So here I am now passing on this message to you all, hold on tight to your flags of simcha! Keep your joy! You may end up a little bruised in the process but hey, at least you'll still have your flag to wave proudly and high!
PS. Thank you to my beloved sis "N," who reminds me to laugh, at myself and in the face of my many sparring partners. Gam zu l'tovah! Mitzvah Gedolah, baby!!!!
I have a question. Or three.
11 months ago