As we enter the month of Adar, our thoughts immediately turn to the holiday of Purim.
Every holiday is a time of rejoicing for the Jewish people. The joy of Purim, however, exceeds that of all other holidays, even the holiday of Sukkot, which is referred to in the Torah itself as "Z'man Simchateinu" - the Season of Our Rejoicing .
The joy of Purim is limitless and unbounded. The joy of Purim is poretz geder; it "breaks" through life's day-to-day routines and the typical way of doing things.
As the joy of Purim is so great, even the preparations for Purim must be filled with great joy. What preparations do we need to make for Purim?
On Purim itself we send gifts of food, mishloach manot, to friends and neighbors. Children dress up in costumes. We listen to the reading of the Megila of Esther and stamp out Haman's name. We eat a festive holiday meal and we add the special Al HaNisim ("For these miracles") to our prayers.
Our preparations for Purim, then, include studying the laws and customs of the holiday, purchasing items for mishloach manot, making costumes, familiarizing ourselves with the Megila, readying the holiday meal, knowing when to recite Al HaNisim. The more enthusiasm and rejoicing we put into the preparations for Purim, the greater the happiness of Purim itself will be.
From the rejoicing of the preparations for Purim may we speedily experience the rejoicing with Moshiach now.