Holding onto Simcha
By Rav Elimelech Biderman, shlita
From “Torah Wellsprings,” Ki Sisa
Although Pesach is drawing near, we are still in Adar: the month of happiness.
We no longer have a yetzer hara for avodah zarah, however Chazal compare atzvus, or allowing ourselves to feel sadness, to avodah zarah.
Chazal say that only the men, but not the women, worshipped the egel.
How did the women succeed in passing this test?
Rebbe Yissacher Dov of Belz, zy'a, explains that because the woman danced with simcha at Kriyas Yam Suf, their joy protected them from worshiping avodah zarah.
As we read in Shemos 15:20, "Miriam, Aharon's sister, took a drum in her hand, and all the women went out after her with drums and dances."
After Krias Yam Suf, the Jewish men sang Oz Yashir, but they did not dance, revealing that the men’s joy was at lower levels than that of the Jewish women.
Later, Moshe came down to see a small percentage of men dancing around the egel. The women, however, who had danced earlier, clearly did not participate.
In addition, the Levi'im, who served Hashem through music in the Beis HaMikdash,
where there is music and joy, similarly did not sin with the egel.
In this way, Yidden who distance themselves from sadness and serve Hashem with music, dancing, and simcha will not fall into the trap of avodah zarah.
The Baal HaTanya (Igeres HaKodesh ch. 11) writes, "When Yidden are sad, they are in effect saying that their lives aren’t perfect, and that they lack something good that they need.
“But to think so is kefirah, heresy, chas veshalom [because we believe that Hashem gives us everything we need, and nothing is lacking]. Therefore, the chachamim of kabbalah warn against atzvus immensely."
The holy sefarim teach that בשמחה is the same gematriya as שנה, year, which reveals
that maintaining our joy throughout Adar brings down more simcha to our entire year.
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