Friday, August 12, 2016
What takes precedence in Jewish Law - happy or sad?
As my Rabbi and friend Rabbi Nochum Schapiro says:-
This Shabbat is a confusing day. The calendar tells us that it is Av 9, the saddest day on the calendar, when we neither eat nor drink, instead sitting on the floor in mourning.
But it is also Shabbat, the day G-d gave to His nation for gladness and rejoicing.
Which one is it? Shabbat trumps. We eat, drink and celebrate on Shabbat, and push off the sad stuff to Saturday night and Sunday.
This is reminiscent of the Talmudic teaching that when a funeral and a bridal procession both need to proceed down one street, the funeral is detoured because the honour of the living bride takes precedence over the deceased.
To me, this embodies the Jewish spirit. Even when we are sad, we are always ready to be happy.
Good always rises above evil, and joy will always be closest to our hearts.
There are people who even when experiencing a wonderful occasion, event, and the like tend to focus on what didn’t go right instead of on all the positives of that occasion. One can have a simcha and concern oneself with those who didn’t come or didn’t seem to share fully with a glad heart in the simcha rather on the joy of the occasion.
Similarly so often we take for granted the repeated positives “the recurring Shabbats” in our lives and focus instead on the challenges we face causing us aggravation and stress.
This year’s “confrontation” of Shabbat and 9 Av guides us on where to place our focus when positive and negative collide.
So this Shabbat why not take a moment to concentrate on the special people and goodness in our lives.
As my brother and mentor , Brett Kaye says...
1. "I don't do misery!!"
2. If you want to complain - take a deep breath - and say something positive first!