This too, shall pass.
I was in doubt about a lot of things in the past few weeks. I was unsure about anything and I felt this sense of unsafety that I don’t really deserve to be happy because I will pay this happiness with great sadness. I am not afraid to be happy, but I am afraid of bad things that will happen after this happy phase.
My friend told me a wise story behind the saying “Gem zeh ya’avor”
“Solomon the powerful and wealthy king chooses to test his most loyal and trusted minister, Benaiah Ben Yehoyada, by asking of him an impossible task. The king asks Benaiah to find for him a ring, knowing full well that the ring does not exist, which has magic powers. “If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy,” he tells him.
He expresses his desire to wear the ring for Sukkot, which is six months away. After months of searching, Benaiah finds himself, the night before Sukkot, walking through the poorest neighborhood of Jerusalem. He happens upon a jeweler, who, when asked if he’s heard of such a ring, produces from his pocket a plain gold ring, to which he adds an engravement. Benaiah returns just in time on the eve of Sukkot to give the king the ring he has requested. When the king looks at the engraving, he reads four words: “gam zeh ya’avor”, which translates to, “This too shall pass” or “This too will pass”. At that moment, Solomon realizes that his wisdom, tremendous wealth, and power are fleeting things, for one day he will be nothing but dust.”
This is a famous story and it blew my mind when I heard it for the first time. I realized that I was being very clingy to things that I will not own forever. My clothes will soon out of shape, my energy will soon run out as I grow old, my food will soon expired, my loved ones will eventually leave me.
I know that “knowing” something is different that “feeling” something. We all know that if we burn our finger in fire, we’ll feel pain, but it is still different when our finger is actually burnt by fire. Losing something is certainly a scary thing, but in the end we all know that nothing lasts forever. Be wise to savor what you have while you can.