An Abundance of Joy!
February 25, 2022
By Miriam Abramovich

Each month of the Jewish calendar is said to be imbued with different qualities. Our sages teach that when the month of Adar arrives “we increase our joy.” [Ta’anit 29a] Next week on Rosh Chodesh [the head of the new month] we will welcome the second month of Adar: Adar II. This year, 5782, is a leap year which means that we receive a double-helping of Adar — bonus joy!

Constructing the Tabernacle was a sacred task and everyone was invited to contribute: “all those whose hearts are willing shall bring a gift for the Eternal.” [Exodus 35:5] This effort was reliant on all the Israelites, including the skilled labor of many female artisans. Rabbi Jill Hammer, author, educator, and ritualist, writes: “As the Tabernacle grows in beauty, every single Israelite becomes a part of the process of putting it together.” Those who felt joy and gratitude to God [or perhaps a little fear after the golden calf incident] contribute with gusto. Their joy in participating in this creative process is palpable in the text.

Reading these passages tug at my creative sensibilities. Although I do not create with clay or textile, working in the kitchen is my art — creating breads, pastries, intricate meals. I can relate to joyfully pouring myself with abandon into the art of making, when preparing for a holiday or a familial celebration. Perhaps many of you experience this sensation when, out of a creative pursuit, joy overflows. For me it is joy for the person I am celebrating, the moment in time or festival I am honoring while in the kitchen.

The poet Mary Oliver writes: “we shake with joy, we shake with grief. what a time they have, these two housed as they are in the same body.” May we each find a space in the month ahead to shake with joy, until we reach a state of joyful abundance.

Happy Adar!

If you are the parent of a young child [ages 0-12], we invite you to dive into an exploration of the themes of joy by signing up to receive a Box of Joy from LiNK Jewish Buffalo. Reserve your FREE box ($36 value) of Jewish content and activities tied to the festival of Purim HERE.

Miriam Abramovich is Chief Experience Officer for the Buffalo Jewish Federation.

An Abundance of Joy! - Jewish thought of the week graphic