Hillel Chai Lights Adar
Rosh Chodesh Adar



The Month of Adar

According to The Book of Formation (Sefer Yetzirah) Each month of the Jewish year has a corresponding color, a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a zodiac sign, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, a sense, and a controlling organ/limb of the body.

Adar is the twelfth month of the Jewish calendar.

The word Adar is cognate to the Hebrew "strength" (אדיר). Adar is the month of good fortune for the Jewish people. The sages say of Adar: "Its mazal [fortune] is strong."

Purim, the holiday of Adar, commemorates the "metamorphosis" of the Jews' apparent bad fortune (as it appeared to Haman) to good. "When Adar enters we augment with joy." The festival of Purim marks the high point in the joy of the entire year. The Jewish year begins with the joy of the redemption of Pesach and concludes with the joy of the redemption of Purim. "Joy breaks through all barriers."

The joy of Adar is what makes the month of Adar the"pregnant" month of the year (i.e., seven of the nineteen yearsin the cycle of the Jewish calender are "leap years," "pregnant" with an additional month of Adar). When there are two Adars, Purim is celebrated in the second Adar, in order to link the redemption of Purim to the redemption of Pesach. Thus, we see that the secret of Adar and Purim is "the end is wedged in the beginning."

Letter: Kuf (ק)

The letter kuf means "monkey" (קוף), the symbol of laughter of the month of Adar. In accordance with the idiom "as a monkey in the face of man," the kuf also symbolizes masquerade, an accepted custom of Purim. Before the miracle of Purim, God Himself "hid His face" from His children Israel (in the entire story of Purim, as related in the book of Esther, His Name does not appear even once). By initially hiding one's true identity, pretending to be someone else, the innermost essence of one's true self becomes revealed. On Purim, we reach the level of the "unknowable head" ("the head that does not know itself nor is known to others"), the state of total existential hiddeness of self from self, for the sake of "giving birth" to one's ultimate self anew.

The word kuf also means the "eye of a needle." The sages teach us that even in the most irrational dream one cannot see an elephant passing through the eye of a needle (see here for more on this teaching). Yet, on Purim one experiences this great wonder, which, in Kabbalah and Chassidut, symbolizes the truly infinite essence of God's transcendent light entering into the finite context of physical reality and revealing itself in full to the Jewish soul.

Mazal: Pisces (Fish)

Fish are the creatures of the sea, which in Kabbalah is a symbol for the "concealed reality." Likewise, the souls of Israel are likened to fish that swim in the waters of the Torah. The true identity and fortune of Israel is invisible in this world. The revelation of Purim, the revelation of Israel's true identity, reflects the revelation of the World to Come (the miracle of Purim is understood to reflect in this world the ultimate miracle: the resurrection in the World to Come).


The singular form for "fish" in Hebrew is דג. It represents the tikun, the rectification of worry; the three letter root of "to worry" is דאג (pronounced da'ag). In the Bible, the singular form of fish (דג) actually appears once written as the root, worry (דאג).


Annual Gala!

Please save the date. Once again Herbert Black has offered to host our supporters in his home. An official invitation will be out shortly but until then, please reserve April 7th for a wonderful night of entertainment and hospitality to benefit the Hillel Montreal cadre of programming. More information will follow shortly.

Grocery Bagging


On Sunday, January 16, twelve McGill and Concordia students came together at the Loblaws grocery store in Ville St-Laurent to spread the word about Hillel's Alternative Spring Break trip with American Jewish World Service to help build infrastructure and sustainability in the rural community of Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, Nicaragua.

We chose to raise funds for our trip as grocery baggers stationed at each cash. As tedious as bagging groceries may sound, this fundraising initiative has been a hugely positive experience both in educating the greater community as to our mission abroad and in securing much needed funds through generous customer donations. Being on our feet for hours at a time certainly helped us to grow as a team and to motivate one another to give it our all. Getting out into the community allowed us to interact with hundreds of different people who were all incredibly supportive of our organization and cause. We managed to raise over $1400 towards our volunteer alternative spring break trip. I never realized how enjoyable fundraising could be, and I am so proud of our group! I look forward to our next fundraising project!


By Ari Gottesman

It Finally Happened 

Who would have thought that it would happen for the first time on February 2nd? But it did. That's right, our first... chicken soup delivery (yes it snowed too). As you may know, we recently launched a chicken soup hotline, for our students who are feeling under the weather and in need of Jewish penicillin. The fact that it coincided with our first major snow storm notwithstanding, all went well. We are around to help just don't sneeze on us!

U de M Hillel


Encore une fois au Centre Hillel, plus de 30 étudiants se sont retrouvés Shabbat dernier! Dans une super ambiance multiculturelle nous avons eu la chance de partager un délicieux repas digne de nos mamans!!! Ne rate pas le prochain qui se tiendra le 25 Février à 6.30. 

Pluralistic Shabbat Dinner 


On Friday January 21st Hillel hosted its first pluralistic Shabbat dinner. Over 50 students came for either Reform or Conservative services and a delicious Shabbat meal. The Reform services were run by a member of Kesher, a Reform student group and the Conservative services were run by a member of Kolot Rabim, a Conservative student group. This was the first of many egalitarian Shabbat dinners that will be happening at Hillel in the upcoming months.

Precious Life   


Hillel Concordia, Hillel McGill and the Concordia Student Union hosted a special screening of the movie Precious Life arranged by the University Outreach Committee. The documentary focused on a Palestinian baby needing a life saving surgery in Israel and the struggles both sides face.  The event was attended by over 50 students and was followed by an intimate questions and answers period with Dr. Raz Somech. The movie left students inspired to do more proactive events that lead towards peace. "Only once we coexist can we survive," Dr. Raz Somech told the crowd.


The event was just another example of how far the students of Concordia have come. There's no doubt the situation in the Middle East is on the mind of students across campus. While it is a complex situation, one thing we know for sure is that as long as groups keep working together and putting on events like this screening we are all taking a giant step in right direction towards peace.