Transforming Synagogues With Jewish Joy

Embracing the Jewish emphasis on joy would bring about a change to American-Jewish life throughout the year, not only on Rosh Hodesh Adar or Purim.

On Sunday, Jews are observing Rosh Hodesh Adar, the beginning of the Hebrew month of Adar. During Adar, we celebrate Purim, a boisterous holiday marking the saving of the ancient Persian Jewish community from near-extermination. In anticipation of the holiday, the sage Rav taught, “When Adar begins, we increase joy.” (Babylonian Talmud, Ta’anit 29a). Similar to how Christmas decorations start going up...