When The Stakes Are High
The total triumph of the Jewish people over the evil Haman, which we celebrate on Purim, transforms the entire month - not just the day of Purim - into a day of joy and happiness.
Why is the Purim victory so amazing, more so than, say, the miracle of Chanuka, that it has the power to actually transform the entire month?
Haman (may his name be erased) was a descendant of Amalek, the infamous nation that had the chutzpa to attack the Jewish people after their miraculous exodus from Egypt.
All of the nations of the world trembled at the thought of battling with the Jewish nation, except for Amalek. The Torah explains that Amalek "met" the Jewish nation during its journey. But our commentators explain that the Hebrew word for "met" - "karcha" can also mean "made you cold."
Amalek, in his insidious way, wanted to "cool off" the Jewish people from their fiery faith in G-d and Moses after all the miracles and Divine revelations they had merited.
The very name "Amalek" has the same numerical value as the Hebrew word "safek" meaning "doubt." Amalek's main goal was not to win a military victory over the Jews, but to pierce their perfect faith and strong belief by bringing in "doubts."
So you see, when, generations later, the Jews at the time of Purim were victorious over Haman the Amalekite, the ultimate victory was not over the man but over all that he stood for - coldness, doubt, skepticism, and the like.
Thus, the entire month of Adar is permeated with the joy and happiness of the Purim holiday, because the stakes were so terribly high.
May we all be victorious over our personal Amaleks this Purim until we merit the ultimate victory over Amalek at the time of the Redemption.