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What's eating you?



What the Rav said:


The king said to his son (from Rabbi Nachman’s stories), if you will be happy when they throw you down from kingship, then you should know that I will also be happy.


But, if you will become sad, said the king to his son, nonetheless I will remain happy. I will always be happy. I’m not participating in your sadness.


Why not?


We don’t participate in sadness. Suffering, maybe yes. A broken heart, a person crying… But, not sadness.


Why are you sad? What happened?


I can join together with you… if you didn’t receive your salary, I can pray for you…


But, not sadness. There’s no such thing as to fall into sadness.


The king says, I myself will never be sad. There’s no such thing. Whatever comes to pass, whatever happens in the world, I will never become sad. There’s no such thing!


Whatever comes to pass, whatever happens in the world, I will never become sad. There’s no such thing!


My thoughts:


The king is never sad.


He joins together with us in our suffering, when we’re broken-hearted.


But, not when we’re sad.


There’s an important, if subtle, difference between the two.


Suffering is real. You don’t have money, you hurt your hand, your kid can’t find a shidduch.


Sadness isn’t. Sadness is a ‘dimayon’ – an imagination, it’s a construct that I’ve made for myself. I’m now deciding that ‘things’ aren’t right, that ‘there’s no point’, that ‘the world (ie G-d) is bad’, G-d forbid.


Sadness isn’t real. We create it. It comes from the dark-side (Rabbenu calls sadness ‘the bite of the Snake’). That’s why Hashem can’t participate in our sadness.

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