Dancing on hot coals
What the Rav said:
The main work of a person is the war against sadness.
It takes great self-sacrifice, not to let sadness control you.
The job of the Satan is to ensure that you’re not happy, that you won’t dance and that you won’t rejoice.
There are a million reasons to be sad. Every person is covered with all types of spiritual husks (klipot).
Only happiness can break these husks.
But, it’s the nature of man to be sad. It’s the nature of man not to be happy.
But, this is the body, this is the nature of the body.
When sadness overcomes a person, it weighs a million tons, a million atmospheres of pressure.
When sadness overcomes a person, it takes real self-sacrifice to battle against it. Just like when a person sacrifices himself for Kiddush Hashem, like jumping into a fire. It’s like trying to be happy from within a fire!
Rabbenu taught us that we should be broken-hearted for one hour a day (our hour of hitbodedut), and the other twenty-three hours we should try our best to be only happy.
When the sad and angry people in the world see a happy person, they mock him. ‘Ah, he’s just burying his head in the sand. He’s ignoring the reality of what a stressful world we live in.
He’s just pretending to be happy. It’s all a joke to him…’
Trying to be happy, all the time (or at least 23 hrs of it), is the most difficult of all of our avodat Hashem.
Staying happy in the face of genuinely difficult circumstances is a tremendous self sacrifice.
The Rav tells us its up there with jumping into a fire for Kiddush Hashem!
So, don’t despair. Know that you’re doing great things, and keep on dancing on those hot coals!