Building the mishkan, we understand, was all about providing a place for the indwelling of the Shechinah. Furthermore, we understand that this was not something that occurred once, a long time ago. The presence of the Shechinah varies according to our spiritual level. Even in times of apparent separation – when we live in galus – Chazal tell us that the Shechinah follows along. There, the Shechinah finds a place in the lives of great tzadikim.
Still, the presence of the Shechinah is a small part of what it should be. Its fullness is realized only in the times of moshiach.
The process is reflected in the period that we now enter. We increase our simcha with the arrival of Adar. Why should this be? The dramatic salvation of Purim occurred on specific days in the middle of the month. Why is the entire month special?
We brought names of months back with us from galus Bavel. Those names are significant. Pairing them with particular months was not random, but purposeful.
Look at Adar. We learn what it is when we break it up into its syllables, and get alef-dar. The alef signifies Alufo shel olam, the Chief of the world, Who takes up residence (dar) in our world.
The vehicle for welcoming Him into our world is Daas, with which we can understand whatever we do about Him. Daas belongs to Moshe Rabbenu. The Zohar teaches that Moshe extends into every generation. Every person’s comprehension of Torah – each on his own level – owes to a spark of Moshe within him. (Moshe’s spark inside of us is the reason that Chazal can tell us to be exceedingly humble. Humility was the outstanding midah of Moshe. Precisely because he is present within us, we can aspire to imitate him.)
This is where Haman failed so miserably. He was overjoyed that his casting of lots settled on the month of Adar to destroy the Jewish people. Moshe died on its seventh day! With Moshe’s death, Daas receded from Klal Yisrael. In its debilitated state, the spiritual fortunes of Klal Yisrael would be depleted, he thought. Surely, he could then triumph over them!
Haman did not know that Moshe was also born on the same date, meaning that he was reborn, so to speak, at the time of his physical death. Sparks of his Daas spread out and lodged with Jews in all places and times. (This is why the Torah writes that no one could find Moshe’s burial place. He is buried where the eye cannot see – in the Daas of every Jew.)
Each person experiences two periods of growth and maturation. They are like two pregnancies. The first is experienced in utero, as the fetus develops into a child. Even here, Hashem is with him. His presence is shown by Chazal’s statement that during its stay in its mother’s womb, a light burns on the head of the fetus, though which he can from one end of the world to the other; he is taught Torah during that time. This corresponds to Adar I, the first Adar.
Once the child emerges as an independent being, a long process of maturation begins. Regardless of how intelligent the child is, his actions generally have no legal import until he reaches adulthood (12 for a girl; 13 for a boy). At that age, the young person gains the Daas that is most important – understanding enough about Hashem that he can contribute to yichud Hashem.
But attaining this rudimentary Daas is only a beginning. It is limited by the person’s more or less natural, given abilities. Real growth occurs after a succession of retreats and advances. When a person’s Daas is removed from Above, the righteous person tenaciously holds on – and fights his way up to a position even higher than before. These repeated incremental gains are like a second pregnancy. Here, too, Hashem is with him. He emerges on a higher plane than he occupied before.
This is what is behind Adar II, the second Adar.
- Based on Meor Einayim, by R. Menachem Nochum of Chernobyl ↑
- Megillah 29a ↑
- Tosafos Rosh Hashanah 7a s.v. mi-divrei ↑
- Avos 4:4 ↑
- Devarim 34:6 ↑
- Niddah 30b ↑