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Section:  Avodah   Category: Olam HaTorah
Torah: The Pain of a Rich Kid in a Candy Store

A rich kid comes into a candy store with his father’s credit card and no restrictions.  Is this kid happy or sad?  Obviously happy, but the only problem is that he would like the whole candy store which unfortunately even without any financial limitations this is not really possible.  He can’t drag the whole store home, nor can he eat everything in it.  His eyes want everything but his stomach and reality say no.  So he has a great time but as he leaves the store with his loot his happiness is not complete.
Some Meforshim explain that Simcha is an expression of full happiness without any drawbacks.  Sasson is happiness marred by a bit of pain.  By a Bris we use the word Sasson because the happiness of the Simcha is slightly tarnished by the pain of the child.

The Pasuk says (Tehilim 119:162) “Sas Anochi Al Imrasecha K’Motzei Shalal Rav”, I am happy with your words (Torah) like someone who finds a great bounty.  A Rebbi of mine once explained that bounty as in “Shalal”, like at the Yam Suf, is way too much for anyone to be able to fully take advantage of.  You can indulge your eyes but in reality you will come away with less than you hoped for.

So too our great Torah.  It is vast and deep.  One can spend a lifetime grabbing as much as he could.  We all dream about mastering Shas with the Rishonim and Acharonim. We fantasize about having Shulchan Aruch and all its Nosei Keilim on our fingertips.  Chumash and its Meforshim.  Nigla, Nistar, on and on.  We all want to be a Vilna Gaon but for many of us that is no longer realistic.  We enjoy the Torah we have and lament the rest that we must leave behind.  That’s the downside of having the biggest and greatest treasure right within your reach but having nowhere to put it.


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Visitor Comments: 2

EF, Chicago, 2008-05-16 07:30:50
Similarly, we live with this all the time. I noticed that, in sh'moneh esrei, the tefila of r'tzei - where we fervently plead to behold the Sh'china's return to Tzion - is immediately followed by modim. Why? I open my eyes to see if the bais ha'mikdash has been rebuilt yet after davening r'tzei. I'm hurt to see that it is not. But I immediately bow to HaShem and acknowledge that, right now, this moment, the way it is, is "Perfect". It is my privilege to say "thank you".
RS, Gateshead UK, 2008-06-03 09:31:13
Your article reminds me of what I once heard from Rabbi Mordechai Miller Zatzal of Gateshead, to explain the possuk ושאבתם מים בששון ממעיני הישועה
He explains that when one draws water from a WELL (בור) one is certainly happy with the water, but, there is also a sadness, knowing that the limited resource of water in the well has been diminished by what one has drawn. This is not the case when drinking from a SPRING (מעין) The spring sprouts water endlessly wheter or not we choose to partake of its water. Furthermore, anything we use does not diminish the resource. Therefore, we can enjoy its water with TRUE JOY - unmarred by any worries for the future.
So too we (should) feel TRUE SASSON with the regard to מעיני הישועה the endsless flowing spring of Hashem's help and salvation. It is abundant, limitless, and despite what we take we can never use it up.

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