Mishe-nichnas Adar…

Today is Rosh Chodesh Adar I. Since Purim is right around the corner, this is supposed to be a very happy time, but something seems terribly off in the universe. Part of me really just wants to block out the rest of the world and just sing the song of the season:

משנכנס אדר מרבים בשמחה

Mishe-nichnas Adar, marbim b’simcha

When Adar enters, our joy increases (Ta’anit 29a).

But it’s tinged with all sorts of sadness. Yesterday’s space shuttle tragedy stands out foremost in my mind, but I’m also reminded of the matzav in Israel. Every time I hear that song, I’m reminded of the wonderful time we had at ulpan in the spring of 2000, when peace seemed imminent. (Six months later everything went to hell.)

We visited our friend Julie in the hospital today. She’s recovering from some really serious surgery. Thank God she’s alive. But she’s got several months (if not years) of physical theraphy ahead of her as she learns how to use her body again. Can you imagine learning to walk again in your mid-twenties?

I’m also bouncing back and forth between apathy and anxiety over the inevitable war with Iraq. Part of me thinks it’s a pointless political move, part of me really wants vengeance, and most of me is downright scared about the possibility of soliders coming home in body bags. Our friends in Israel have their gas masks and drinking water ready.

As my friend Rachel said yesterday, Rosh Chodesh — the New Moon — is always the darkest time of the month. But as the moon returns, night by night, the brightness increases. God willing, the coming month will bring more brightness than darkness.

משנכנס אדר…