Our Sages teach us that when the month of Adar comes around we should increase our Simcha – our happiness and joy!
The dictate instructs us to increase our joy in Adar – which implies that we are to always maintain some level of joy.
The Baal Shem Tov comments that in order for one to succeed and acquire abundance, his thoughts must be filled with faith and positive thoughts of success.
If one thinks ‘success’ G-d will grant him success. G-d in a sense mirrors our thoughts.
The most damaging thing a person can do is to worry and complain. The negativity of worry can, G-d forbid, attract negativity and ward off blessing from one’s life.
King David in the Book of Psalms exposes one of the most astounding secrets of the universe: “G-d is your shadow at your right hand.” This can be understood that G-d mimics our every action. Just as when we wave our right hand in the air, our shadow follows suit, so too, does G-d, so to speak. We hold the controls.
At creation G-d gave human beings the controls – everything we think, say or do, has an effect on the Universe. If we kvetch, G-d may give us something to kvetch about. When we are positive, optimistic and joyful, G-d will shadow our feelings!
An example of this idea can be found in connection with Betzalel, who was just Bar-Mitzvah age when he was commissioned by G-d to build the Tabernacle in the desert. Why Betzalel? Moshe explained that the answer lay in his name. Betzalel is a conglomeration of two words, Betzel E-l – In the shadow of G-d. Betzalel understood what we have to do in this world to merit the resting of G-d’s presence. He understood what all the holy vessels of the Temple should look like. Betzalel understood that through the construction of the Temple he could affect the entire universe because G-d would shadow his holy and pure intentions and thereby instill His holiness within the Temple.
Moshe, when counteracting the negative report the ten evil spies presented about the land of Israel, said about the Cannanites, “Their shadow has left them,” My friend, Reb Meshulam Epstein pointed out to me that the Ramban explains that this means we do not have to worry about the people of Canaan for they are so wicked that G-d’s shadow left them and they lack G-dly protection. However, the Jewish people are always under the protection of the shadow of G-d.
Rabbi Yaacov Haber explains: Everyday things become clearer to me. Not only do the Mitzvos I perform affect my life and my world, but every attitude I possess makes a difference. “Who is wealthy?” asks the Mishna, “One who is happy with what they have!” If I am happy about my wealth – the joy will bring me wealth. If I am confident that G-d will take care of me to the point that I am happy – I will be taken care of. If I am confident enough to be happy, Hashem will give me happiness. Our attitude, along with our confidence in G-d, and our realization that we have a relationship with the Creator, will bring things together to make life work.
There are many things in the Megilla that we will read on Purim which appear to be backward and upside down and then turned to our favor. For example: Haman sent out an awful edict sealed by King Achashveirosh’s signet, that in eleven months, on the 13th day of Adar, all the Jews were to be killed, and the Jews were forbidden to defend themselves.
Even after Haman’s death, the decree remained in effect. Finally, two months later, Mordechai and Esther had the opportunity to speak to King Achashvairosh about annulling the decree. The king explained that he could not withdraw the edict to destroy the Jews because ‘An edict which is written in the King’s name and sealed with the royal signet may not be revoked.’ The best he could do was to allow Mordechai to dictate a new edict stating that the ‘King permitted the Jews of every city to defend themselves, to destroy, slay and exterminate every armed force on the 13th day of Adar’.
All that happened at that point was that the Jews were permitted to fight back. This does not seem like much to rejoice about!
Yet the Megilla tells us that the next thing that happened is, “For the Jews there was light and gladness and joy and honor.”
But hold on! Didn’t they jump the gun? Not only hadn’t they won the war, they didn’t even start it yet! So what is the rejoicing about?
It was that Mordechai knew the secret – he knew how to win the war. By taking off his sack cloth and putting on ‘Royal apparel of turquoise and white with a large gold crown and a robe of fine linen and purple’, the city of Shushan became cheerful and glad!’
We didn’t have the joy of Purim because we won the war – we won the war because we had the joy of Purim. When our moods turned upside down so did our situation!