We are encouraged to celebrate and have more joy than normal during the month of Adar.
“The whole month of Adar is learning how to grow and heal through joy and laughter. . . . . the main reason we came into this world is to experience and teach joy.” writes Melinda Ribner of Kabbalah of the Heart. Moses was born on the 7th of Adar and the holiday of Purim (the miracle of the Jews survival against Haman) is celebrated during Adar. The 9th of Adar commemorates “marks the day that two thousand years ago healthy disagreements ‘for the sake of Heaven’ turned destructive.” In honor of it, the 9Adar project is a week devoted to “strengthening a culture of constructive conflict across personal, political, religious, and other divides.”
Living in Israel now makes me acutely aware of the need for constructive conflict skills here. I love and appreciate the multi-faceted diverse nature of this country. But, whether it’s the mundane experience of impatient people at [insert location of choice] or the more serious societal divisions based on one’s religious practices, politics, race or geographical residence, there are challenges (and I am referring to things that go beyond the average Israeli’s normal direct words and actions).
Indeed, in my brief time here thus far, I’ve chosen to participate in many activities where I’m an “outsider” and each of these experiences has only increased my joy because I’ve felt welcome, been part of a cultural bridge, listened to someone else’s perspective that is different from mine and/or stood in solidarity with someone who was victimized because of their identity. We could each be inspired by Moses, a humble person, as we reflect on our identities and beliefs during the process of constructive conflict. Indeed, processing conflict in a respectful way is rewarding. Perhaps it’s not process for more “joy” one would expect during Adar (watching a comedy film might be an easier option), it can be powerful and meaningful.
The food that I prepared for Adar is a sweet for Purim that also looks (a bit!) like sushi fish (fish is the symbol of Adar). While I learned this recipe at at Tu B’shevat seder, the no-added-sugar, protein-rich treat is delicious (and easy to prepare) to put in your Purim baskets. I love these (ie joy) and hope you feel the same, too!
5 Medjool dates, pits removed
5 walnuts or almond
1 tbsp nut butter (peanut, almond, etc)
1 tsp cacao nibs or powder
optional: 1 tbsp shredded coconut
1. Remove pits from dates.
2. Place a nut in each date. Put a bit of the nut butter inside and sprinkle with cacao nibs or powder. Option to top each one with shredded coconut.