About Respect

In the past month, we went from hectic, frenzied days to relaxed days of freedom. How fast time flies when we’re enjoying it!

The Midrash Tanchuma on Parshat Shemini talks about how fleeting simchah is, citing countless examples.

Hakadosh Baruch Hu was very happy, ki’veyachol, with the magnificent world He created. “Vayar Elokim et ha’or ki tov.” But then Adam Harishon sinned, marring Hashem’s joy.
Avraham Avinu waited all his life for a child. He was ecstatic when Sarah finally gave birth, and then he was commanded to sacrifice the very child he had longed for, and soon after, he learned that his wife had passed away.

The Midrash cites Shlomo Hamelech as another example of someone who experienced a fleeting simchah. After all the delightful things he experienced, he was the one to say, “It all comes and goes.” Commenting on this, Rabbeinu Bachya notes, “Not everyone who is joyous today will be joyous tomorrow, and not everyone who is in pain today will be in pain tomorrow.”

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