Beginning of new Hebrew month of Adar. Adar is the 12th month of the Hebrew year. Corresponds to February or March on the Gregorian calendar.
Month Number: 12
Number of Days: 29
Gregorian Equivalent: February–March
The most important events in Jewish history during the month of Adar
1 Adar – (1313 BCE) – Plague of Darkness
- The ninth plague to be cast upon the Egyptians for their refusal to release the Israelites from slavery was a thick darkness across the entire land so “no man saw his fellow, and no man could move from his place” (Exodus 10:23). This started on the 1st of Adar, six weeks before the Exodus.
1 Adar – (1164) – Death of the Ibn Ezra
- A highly regarded Biblical commentator, Rabbi Avraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra (1089?-1164), died on Adar 1.
- Adar 1 is also the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the death) of the Halachist Rabbi Shabtai Hakohen Katz, who lived from 1621 to around 1663?, and was author of the Siftei Cohen commentary on Rabbi Yosef Karo‘s Code of Jewish Law. He is known as “Shach“, which is an acronym of the name of his work, which still to this day serves as a primary source of Halachah (Jewish law).
- The dedication of the second Holy Temple (Beit HaMikdash) which was built by Ezra on the site of the 1st Temple in Jerusalem, was celebrated on the 3rd of Adar of 515 BCE, after four years of work.
4 Adar – (1307) – Maharam‘s body ransomed
- The imprisonment of Rabbi Meir ben Baruch (“Maharam”) of Rothenburg came to a close when his body was ransomed 14 years after his death by Alexander ben Shlomo (Susskind) Wimpfen.
4 Adar – (1796) – Death of Rabbi Leib Sarah’s
- Adar 4 is the yahrtzeit (anniversary) of the passing of Rabbi Leib Sarah’s (1730–1796), a disciple of the Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. One of the “hidden tzaddikim,” Rabbi Leib spent his life wandering from place to place to raise money for the ransoming of imprisoned Jews and the support of other hidden tzaddikim.
- Moses was born in Egypt on the 7th of Adar of the Hebrew year 2368 (1393 BCE) and is said to have died on his 120th birthday, Adar 7, 2488 (1273 BCE)
7 Adar – (1828) – Death of Rebbe Isaac Taub of Kalov
- Rabbi Isaac Taub (1744-1828), founder of the Kalover Hasidic dynasty, a student of Rabbi Leib Sarah’s, died.
9 Adar – The day, approximately 2,000 years ago, on which the initially peaceful and constructive conflict (machloket l’shem shamayim) between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai, erupted into a violent and destructive conflict over a vote on 18 legal matters leading to the death of 3,000 students. The day was later declared a fast day, by the shulchan aruch, however, it was never observed as such.
11 Adar – 18th century – Death of Reb Eliezer Lipman
- Reb Eliezer Lipman (Elezer Lippe) was the father of the prominent Chassidic Rebbes Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk and Rabbi Zusha of Hanipol.
- On the 13th of Adar of the Hebrew year 522 BCE, battles were fought throughout the Persian Empire between the Jews and those seeking to kill them in accordance with the decree issued by King Achashveirosh eleven months earlier. (Achashveirosh never rescinded that decree; but after the hanging of Haman on Nissan 16 of the previous year, and Queen Esther‘s pleading on behalf of her people, he agreed to issue a second decree authorizing the Jews to defend themselves against those seeking to kill them.) 75,000 enemies were killed on that day, and 500 in the capital, Shushan, including Haman’s ten sons (Parshandata, Dalfon, Aspata, Porata, Adalia, Aridata, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai and Vaizata), whose bodies were subsequently hanged. The Jews did not take any of the possessions of the slain as booty, though authorized to do so by the king’s decree. (The Book of Esther, chapter 9).
- The Maccabees defeated the Syrian General Nicanor in a battle fought four years after the Maccabees’ liberation of the Holy Land and the miracle of Hanukkah.
- Moses was born on the 7th of Adar of the Hebrew year 2368 (1393 BCE); accordingly, Adar 14 was the 8th day of his life and the day on which he was circumcised in accordance with the divine command to Abraham.
- The festival of Purim celebrates the salvation of the Jewish people from Haman‘s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day.” SeeTimeline.
- King Agrippa I (circa 21 CE) began construction of a gate for the wall of Jerusalem; the day used to be celebrated as a holiday.
17 Adar – (522 BCE) – Yom Adar
- The day the Jewish people left Persia following the Purim story
- “One year, most of Adar went by and it didn’t rain. They sent for Choni the Circle Maker. He prayed and the rains didn’t come. He drew a circle, stood in it and said: ‘Master of The World! Your children have turned to me; I swear in Your great name that I won’t move from here until You have pity on Your children.’ The rains came down.” (Talmud, Taanit 23a)
20 Adar – (1640) – Death of the “Bach”
- Adar 20 is the yahrtzeit (anniversary of the death) of Rabbi Yoel Sirkes (1560?-1640), who authored of the Bayit Chadash (“Bach”) commentary on the Halachic work, Beit Yosef.
21 Adar (Adar II in leap years)– (1786) – Death of Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk
- Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk, also known as Noam Elimelech was a great Chassidic Rebbe, and a prominent student of Rabbi DovBer, the great Maggid of Mezeritch. Rabbi Elimelech was the brother of Rabbi Zusha of Hanipol– also a prominent Tzaddik and a student of the Maggid. Among the students of Rabbi Elimelech are several prominent Rebbes, including: The Seer- Chozeh of Lublin, Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Rimanov, The Maggid of Kozhnitz, Rabbi Avraham Yehoshua Heshel- The Apter Rov, Rabbi Naftali Zvi of Ropshitz, Rabbi Kalynomus Kalman Epstein, Rebbe Dovid Lelover.
- During the week of Adar 23-29, the Mishkan was erected each morning and dismantled each evening; Moses served as the High Priest and initiated Aaron and his four sons into the priesthood. Then, on the “eighth day,” the 1st of Nissan, the Mishkan was “permanently” assembled (that is, put up to stand until the God-given command would come to journey on), Aaron and his sons assumed the priesthood, and the divine presence came to dwell in the Mishkan.
23 Adar – (1866) – Death of 1st Rebbe of Ger
- Chassidic Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Altar (1799–1866), author of Chiddushei Harim (a commentary on the Talmud and Shulchan Aruch), was a disciple of Rabbi Yisroel Hopsztajn– The Maggid of Koshnitz and Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshischa, and the founder of the “Ger” (Gerer) Chassidic dynasty. All his 13 sons had died in his lifetime, and he was succeeded (in 1870) by his young grandson, Rabbi Yehudah Leib Alter (the “Sefat Emmet”).
24 Adar – (1817) – Blood Libel declared false
- On Adar 24, Czar Alexander I of Russia declared the Blood Libel, the infamous accusation that Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood in the baking of matzah for Passover, for which thousands of Jews were killed through the centuries, to be false. Nevertheless, nearly a hundred years later the accusation was officially leveled against Mendel Beilis in Kiev.
- Death of King Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian emperor who conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the first Holy Temple 26 years earlier, died on the 25th of Adar. (Jeremiah 52:31)
25 Adar – (1761) – Death of Rabbi Abraham Gershon of Kitov
- Rabbi Abraham Gershon of Kitov was the brother-in-law and leading foe-turned-disciple of the Baal Shem Tov. Rabbi Gershon was the recipient of a letter from the Baal Shem Tovdescribing his heavenly prophecy regarding the coming of the Messiah. Rabbi Gershon’s gravestone, which lists 25 Adar as his day of passing, was discovered in the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem after the Six-day War.
- Zedekiah was the last king of the royal house of David to reign in the Holy Land. He ascended the throne in 597 BCE, after King Nebuchadnezzarof Babylonia (to whom the Kingdom of Judah was then subject) exiled King Jeconiah (Zedekiah’s nephew) to Babylonia . In 588 BCE Zedekiah rebelled against Babylonian rule, and Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem (in Tevet 10 of that year); in the summer of 586 BCE the walls of Jerusalem were penetrated, the city conquered, the (first) Holy Temple destroyed, and the people of Judah exiled to Babylonia. Zedekiah tried escaping through a tunnel leading out of the city, but was captured; his sons were killed in front of him, and then he was blinded. Zedekiah languished in the royal dungeon in Babylonia until Nebuchadnezzar’s death in 561 BCE. Meroduch, Nebuchadnezzar’s son and successor, freed him (and his nephew Jeconiah) on the 27th of Adar, but Zedikiah died that same day.
28 Adar – (from the 2nd century onwards) – Talmudic holiday
- In Talmudic times, Adar 28 was established as a minor festival to commemorate the rescinding of a Roman decree against Torah study, ritualcircumcision, and keeping the Shabbat. The decree was revoked through the efforts of Rabbi Yehudah ben Shamu’a and his colleagues. (Megillat Taanit, a baraita on this matter can still be found in Ta’anit 18a and Rosh Hashanah 19a)
- In 1524, the Jews of Cairo were delivered on the 28th of Adar from the plot of Ahmad Pasha who sought revenge against the Jewish minterAbraham de Castro who had informed Selim II of Ahmad’s plan to cede from the Ottoman Empire. To this day, Adar 28th is considered the Purimof Cairo, with festivities including a special Megilah reading.