Two Adars = Two Carnivals?

Kara Kahn

Once every few years an extra month is added to the Jewish calendar to ensure that certain holidays fall in the correct season. For example, it is a biblical commandment that the holiday of Passover falls in the spring months. In order to ensure that it falls after Mar. 20 on the Gregorian calendar, a 13th month is sometimes added to the Hebrew calendar, making it a leap year. The leap-year cycle takes place over a 19-year period.

This year, 5774, is one of the lucky years with a second Adar, also known as Adar Aleph or Adar Rishon (the First Adar). Many students at the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy were thrilled when they realized that this year included an extra Adar.

“Adar is my favorite month by far. Who doesn’t love being commanded to be happy and eating ‘Hamentashen’ (triangular, festive cookies)?” exclaimed junior Moriah Abrams. “It really is a great time of year.”

It is an HBHA tradition that high school students lead a parade through the hallways on Rosh Chodesh Adar. Students kicked off the extra Adar by having the same celebration. Senior Max Sosland, along with other upperclassmen, started the singing and dancing, which lasted longer than expected.

“I felt that it was my job as a senior to spark the Adar festivities,” said Sosland. “Even though it was the first Adar, not the one that includes Purim, we still enjoyed welcoming the month of happiness.”

Besides missing some class and dancing around HBHA, students also love Adar because of the beloved Purim Carnival, which is sponsored by HBHA Upper School Student Council. The Purim Carnival takes place every year in the Social Hall of the Jewish Community Center on the half school day before Purim. To the dismay of many students, the holiday of Purim is only in Adar Bet, meaning no Purim Carnival in the month of February.

HBHA’s upper school Co-Vice Presidents of Holidays and Purim Carnival Planning, sophomore Adena Goldberg and senior Sam Sosland, are facing intense scrutiny for only planning one carnival.

“I know that the students want another carnival, but sadly we can not make it happen,” explained Goldberg. “We are not able to handle the stress that the administration and our advisor have put on us.” Goldberg also mentioned that working on the carnival for an extra month seemed “too stressful and hectic.”

While some understand, other students are outraged with the lack of festivities. Senior Shani Solomon was among those displeased. “It is my senior year, I think we should celebrate Purim as much as possible,” exclaimed Solomon. “I just want to paint faces and keep kids in jail!”

Jewish Studies Department Chair Michal Cahlon has received a number of questions from distressed students longing for an extra carnival. The students simply just do not understand why no carnival will take place.

Despite the controversy, Adar Aleph has been one to remember, and Adar Bet will be even more exciting!