Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “One may not wallow in sadness, even if justified.”

It is necessary to engage from time to time in an honest reckoning, the results of which might cause a person temporary worry or sadness.

But one may not wallow in sadness, even if justified.

As soon as one recognizes one’s weak and problematic points, one must arouse oneself once again to renewed service to God.

An old folk saying has it that making a reckoning is half of the punishment.

Although this reckoning is an important step, it is only a temporary one.

The sadness that results is necessary, but it must be followed by joy.

True joy is that which follows sadness.

As the verse states, “in all sadness there would be profit.”

After having seen oneself at the very nadir, after having stripped oneself of all false joy, one is ready to attain a genuine joy in God Himself, Who forgives and absolves, and, with this strength, to begin anew.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz