Laugh at it

Friday, 23 July, 2021 - 7:48 am

My morning started with a one-word message that made me very happy: I passed.

Made me happy is not the right word, I really enjoyed it, the joy was a roar of wow and then a burst of loose laughter.

It was a friend who was facing a process of contraction and reduction in his work, he was under not simple pressure and asked me for a blessing.

He already knows me, he knows from experience that this means that he will go to the mikveh and write a letter to the Rebbe, and when he is finished I will send it via email to the Ohel Chabad where they will tear the letter on the Rebbe's resting place.

So we met recently at six in the morning, he went to the mikveh, then sat down to write in a language that was comfortable for him, he described the situation, how everything he had was in danger, he was under not simple pressure and he asked for a blessing that everything would be successful and go well. And all this pressure, as mentioned, was released this morning.

And then, as always, I thought, why could we not laugh a laugh of joy even in the moment of difficulty? Is it impossible to laugh and rejoice even when there is only hope and not beyond? Is the belief that all what Hashem does is all for the best, not strong enough?

I guess everyone knows the story about Rabbi Akiva and his friends who saw a fox coming out of the place of the destroyed temple in Jerusalem, they cried and he laughed. The gap was even bigger, they did not understand why he was laughing, and he did not understand why they were crying. Finally he explained to them that for him when he sees the destruction, he already sees the redemption, how? For both destruction and redemption are written in the words of the prophets, this and that came as a prophecy, and the fact that the prophecy of destruction came true and here is this fox coming out of the Holy of Holies, It is this fact that clarifies and strengthens, that the prophecy of redemption will also be fulfilled and to the highest level. So he sees the fox and laughs, really laughs.

Apparently the standards of Rabbi Akiva are quite high, even his friends were not with him at first, but, From the moment he showed it was possible, then it’s possible for everyone. his friends said to him: Akiva, you comfort us, Akiva, you comfort us. And probably we too, you and I, can, if only we gather strength, look reality into the eyes of Rabbi Akiva. See the fox and laugh.

This Shabbat, is called Shabbat Nachmu, following the haftarah that begins with the words 'Nechamu Nachmu Ami', Consolation, it must be remembered, comes at the time of coping and difficulty, and not when the difficulty is gone, because then there is no need for comfort anymore.

Laugh at it.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski


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