Photo Credit: Jodie Maoz

The well-known Gemara in Taanis 29a says that when Adar enters we are to increase in simcha. The Chasam Sofer (Choshen Mishpat, siman 20) writes that this applies to Adar Rishon as well. what is the reason for the increase in simcha? One would assume it is in commemoration of the great salvation that Hashem delivered for our people in this month. However, Rashi on the Gemara explains that the simcha is because these days, Purim and Pesach, were days of Nissim – miracles. Rashi does not mention the salvation; rather the miracles. This is perplexing, for one would think that the salvation would the reason to be b’simcha, even if it occurred without any nissim.

Yet, if the simcha was indeed for the salvation, why would the simcha begin at the beginning of the month, as opposed to on the day of the salvation itself? This may have been Rashi’s indication to explain the Gemara in a different light.

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Let’s examine. The tefilla that we say after the Megilla called Shoshanas Yaakov says, that Klal Yisrael were extremely happy when they saw “techeiles Mordechai.” What is techeiles Mordechai? In the sixth perek of the Megillah we read the story where Haman is ordered, in a reversal of his own intentions, to dress Mordechai in royalty and parade him around the city on the royal horse pronouncing “So shall be done to the one who the king wishes to honor.” The pasuk following that event says that Mordechai returned to the shaar ha’ir. Rashi explains this to mean that he placed his sackcloth back on. The prominent horse ride was not a salvation; Klal Yisrael remained in grave danger and the decree was not yet removed. This is why Mordechai continued to dress in sackcloth. The techeiles Mordechai that we refer to in Shoshanas Yaakov that caused Klal Yisrael to be extremely happy was this royal attire with which Mordechai was adorned during this illustrious parade. But why was this a reason for Klal Yisrael to be happy if indeed the decree was still in place? The tefilla should have stated that they were happy as a result of the yeshua.

The bracha of Al Hatzaddikim in Shemoneh Esrei ends with the words “mish’an u’mivtach l’tzaddikim.” What is the meaning of the word mish’an? In the Siddur HaGra, the Vilna Gaon explains that before Hashem sends a salvation He sends a mish’an – something to rely on – enabling us to strengthen our bitachon. The Gaon explains that with regard to the salvation from Haman, Hashem first showed Klal Yisrael a mish’an by parading Mordechai around in the streets. This was orchestrated in order to send Klal Yisrael a message that Hashem was with them and that they should strengthen their emunah and bitachon in Hashem and be mekabel the Torah.

The Vilna Gaon continues and says that this will occur before the final redemption as well. Hashem will send a mish’an to strengthen our bitachon in Him before the final redemption.

Why does Hashem do this? Why is this necessary? Rav Yeruchem Levovitz, zt”l, the Mirrer Mashgiach, in Da’as Chachmah U’Mussar vol. 3 siman 1 explains that in the beginning of Parshas Va’eira, Hashem tells Moshe that he did not appear to the Avos with the middah of the name of Havaya; rather only with the middah of the name of Kel Shakai. Rashi explains that the difference between these two middos is that Kel Shakai represents promising without fulfilling those promises, while Havaya represents the middah of fulfilling promises. Why does Hashem have a middah of promising while deliberately not fulfilling His words?

The Mashgiach explains that this is in order to strengthen and develop one’s bitachon. Hashem makes promises and does not immediately fulfill them. Only once a person has bitachon is he deserving of the fulfillment of the promises. It was in the zechus of the bitachon of the Avos that we merited leaving Metzrayim. Hashem did not want to be mekayem his promises to the Avos right away in order to build their emunah and bitachon.

Hashem’s boundless kindness, which knows no limits, wants us to be zocheh to the yeshuos that we desperately need. Therefore, He sends a mish’an – a support – which can build our bitachon, enabling us to be zocheh to the fulfillment of His promises.

This is the simcha that is discussed in Shoshanas Yaakov depicts when Klal Yisrael saw Mordechai being paraded around the city by Haman. Bitachon brings one to happiness. They understood that this was a sign from Hashem that He was with them and that He would save them from this gezeirah. In the story of the Megillah, the mish’an was accomplished (pun intended) and Klal Yisrael strengthened their bitachon.

Rashi that we quoted earlier says that the simcha of the month of Adar is from the nissim that were performed; not just the yeshua which occurred on the fourteenth day of Adar. We rejoice in the realization that we have a Father in Heaven on Whom we can rely on, Who is can and is willing overturn the whole world to save us with great nissim. This is why this simcha begins at the beginning of the month, showing that our simcha is not simply for the actual yeshua, but for the bitachon that Hashem is with us.

Has Hashem already sent the mish’an? Are we missing it, chas v’shalom? If we would be seriously consider all the chassadim that Hashem has performed for our generation, and all the signs of the geula that He has given us, we would develop the necessary emunah and bitachon for the yeshua. Through this we will become truly b’simcha and be zocheh to the geula sheleimah b’karov! Amen.

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Rabbi Fuchs learned in Yeshivas Toras Moshe, where he became a close talmid of Rav Michel Shurkin, shlit”a. While he was there he received semicha from Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, shlit”a. He then learned in Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, and became a close talmid of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, zt”l. Rabbi Fuchs received semicha from the Mirrer Yeshiva as well. After Rav Shmuel’s petira Rabbi Fuchs learned in Bais Hatalmud Kollel for six years. He is currently a Shoel Umaishiv in Yeshivas Beis Meir in Lakewood, and a Torah editor and weekly columnist at The Jewish Press.