I never really thought about this until this year, but how do we reconcile the fun and good-natured wish of, be happy–it’s Adar! with the fact that some people have really good reasons for being unable to be happy and are not necessarily in control of whether they are happy or not? When I’m in the midst of a depression, I simply cannot just be happy.
It’s everywhere now, on signs and emails and web sites and mailings from the shul. I so want to be happy, whether it’s Adar or not, but there’s only so much I can do. And I dread walking into shul and being met with a cheery smile and a why aren’t you happy? It’s Adar! Be happy!
I’m not saying we shouldn’t encourage the increase of happiness, or that we should ban the signs and the greetings out of some politically correct concession to those who have every reason to be unhappy. Not at all. At the same time, I’m wondering if we’re asking everyone to fake it ’til you make it. Just what do we mean by, be happy–it’s Adar!
I just wonder how we reconcile it. Or if we do. And if we don’t, why not?