Sacred Time 07
The Understanding of Yisaschar
Our sages tell us that Yisachar—or Yisaschar, since it is spelled with two sins—was the tribe that was gifted with the wisdom to understand the times and declare months and leap years. Reb Nosson explains that, in Hebrew, the word Yisaschar can be read, ‘yeish sachar’—‘there is reward.’ The new moon is sanctified when the tiniest sliver of the moon is first visible. This aspect of searching for and finally locating the barest edge of moonlight in darkness represents searching for and finding the good point in the thickest blackness.
The tribe associated with the month of Adar is Naftali who is compared to a deer. Rebbe Nachman explains that when we connect to the essence of a mitzvah we feel joy in the mitzvah itself. During this month we work on being joyous–“From when Adar enters, we increase our joy.” The essence of Adar is the positive energy that fills us when we feel rewarded simply by living a spiritual life–this is a zest and drive that allows us to accomplish a great deal of good. Since Rosh Chodesh alludes to finding the good within the darkness, the time to add that month is during Adar, the most joyous month of the year. (Likutei Moharan I:5; Likutei Halachot, Hilchot Rosh Chodesh)
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