We all have hard times in our lives that seem to break us. Sadness is very much existent and for us, every small thing or disruption can get us disturbed. This can however be extremely painful.
Depression is very different from sadness but according to the Jewish belief, we are guided by the Jewish law to keep sadness and sorrow away from us.
Judaism sees in sorrow, as in any other sense of being, love, hate, desire for revenge, greed, human qualities that need to be regulated for positive goals. Sorrow cannot be undone.
As human beings, we will always feel feelings of sorrow and sadness for all sorts of reasons. It can be a disappointment from something we expected to receive and did not receive, it can be as a result of failure and it can be for even stronger reasons like a serious illness or the loss of someone close to us. Judaism recognizes sorrow, understands it but always determined to limits it.
The Judaism’s way of numbing and weakening the feeling of sorrow is through forcing a routine. Modern psychology recognizes the contribution of routine to healing sadness and depression but Judaism proposed this solution thousands of years ago.
For example, mourning laws in Judaism dictate very clear laws that delineate mourning and in a slow process force the person to return to the routine of his life, while preserving the memory of the dead but without giving up the duty to live life for a clear purpose and not sink into sorrow.
Unfortunately there is no miracle cure and sometimes there is no cure at all but just a recipe for continuing to maintain a sane life, because of family, children, work or simply a desire to continue life in the best way possible. Since most Jews are not devoutly religious, and it is clear that most readers of this article are non-Jews, the routines offered by Judaism may not suit everyone but the basic idea of routine as a mental remedy for sadness and depression applies to all human beings regardless of national or religious identity.
One possible routine that will help heal or alleviate grief, is someone else’s empathy for our situation. In the modern world there are face-to-face support groups or virtual communities that can provide support. However, empathy can also come through the eternal verses of the Bible, which understand and touch the human psyche in the most gentle and precise way possible. And perhaps most important, suggesting hope. Hope for a better life with less sadness.
God tells man, do not think that you have been abandoned. In Hebrew, the meaning of the verse’s first words is: your heart may not be as soft as wax. Do not stop believing in me thinking I left you. I have not left you. I am with you; I guard you, I strengthen you and hold you. According to commentators, fitting like a close friend contains someone who needs support, supporting the right hand and left hand not to fall.
We all get tired after some point in our lives. As much as it is important to stay focused on positivity, It is not always possible. People tend to lose faith, regardless if it’s religious faith in god or personal faith in a goal, and this eventually causes haywire in everyone’s lives.
Before giving up on faith, one should know that religion represents our mental and internal power. It represents willpower. If you are a religious person, faith means your trust in god. The Bible scriptures are a clear depiction of positivity and good vibes, but at the same time, a lot of these Biblical verses show the harsh realities of life. These Biblical verses are a clear reminder of the fact that our life is full of hardships.
It brings to our notice the stories of characters who too were victims of sadness and grief but overcame it with the help of their immense faith in God. The most famous story is about Job of course. Please remember, it’s about faith. If you have no faith in God, you must have faith in something, in yourself, in your kids, in your family, in something. This faith can pull you out of the sadness.
Isaiah 40:29 is a reminder that one who believes in God can overcome any sadness. It helps us recognize God’s power who bestows the same on us when we’re down and helps us overcome all the challenges that we face in our lives. Taking the name of God, whenever we feel down will help us get over everything.
Jewish people believe that the Bible verses on sadness are a great reminder of the Almighty’s power. It always reminds us about the sadness that exists, thereby claiming that God will always stand by our sides to protect us no matter what happens in our lives.
These verses are a reminder of the power of faith. The prophet Isaiah tells human beings that God is their refuge; he is with them in every situation, both when it is good for them, and when it is terrible.
A person who has faith in God is much less afraid. A person who has faith can withstand severe shocks that occur in life, even if the earth trembles beneath his feet, and even if the mountains collapse, he has a power that holds him, and according to the prophet, he has a power that keeps him, God.
And for those who do not believe in god, a strong belief in the idea can protect them and keep them from the ups and downs of life. Belief in a great idea gives us all a lot of strength to overcome crises.
Psalm 30:5 suggests turning to God if you face any hard situations in your life. God’s wrath is only for a moment, but His blessings will last forever. The Biblical verses on sadness remind us to be hopeful even in the tough situations of our lives. God may be wrathful, but He will always bestow His blessings upon His children.
You may weep all through your dark days, but God will never keep you waiting. He will eventually bless you with happiness. His judgment, our God may be late in delivering happiness, but he surely will deliver happiness with time.
But the biblical text also has a meaning that can exist for any person even if he does not believe in the God who guards him.
In many cases in life, when we encounter difficulties, sometimes what is required is a different perspective or some time will pass.
When we get up in the morning, we may see things differently, maybe sleep will give us the necessary break, maybe the sun shining in the morning will inspire us with optimism, maybe we will suddenly see things in a different perspective that will ease the mental load that causes sadness, “joy cometh in the morning”.
Strength and courage can only be found in the darkest corners of your life. As they say, it is our pain and grief that makes us the strongest. Even in our worst days, we should be hopeful and ready to fight any barrier that comes in our way.
Joshua 1:9 talks about mustering the courage in our lifetime to get over the pain. Right in the scripture, we are asked to be hopeful, strong, and courageous to get through the hardest times of our lives. Whenever we fall in our lives and are surrounded by fear and grief, we are asked to take up the cycle of our lives.
God requires us to be strong, not to be afraid. Seemingly the request sounds trivial but it can be extremely difficult.
When we are immersed in sorrow or when something makes us afraid, can we tell ourselves not to be afraid and as a magic wand it will work? of course not. But if we have faith, if we have a goal that will strengthen us and push us forward, there is a chance we can overcome fear and sadness.
King David says that even in times of great distress he manages to find comfort in the words of God. Even when he is at the bottom of his life, even when he is at the low point he defines as poverty, he manages to find comfort.
The poverty to which King David refers is not necessarily physical because, as is well known, he lacked nothing but mental poverty resulting from suffering.
That is, any person who is in the low point of his life, or a very significant mental distress or sadness, will be able to find solace in what he believes. In times of distress, our mind needs a stable anchor to which it can tie itself and continue to float above the surface of the water.
Yet this anchor is essential not only in times of distress but also in ordinary times and good times, even when we want to push ourselves to the edge and achieve something. The mental effort that will be required of us, requires a great deal of willpower and personal discipline and only an uncompromising belief in God or in the goal or in the ideal, will allow us to achieve what we are aiming to.
This is probably one of the most famous verses in the entire Bible. King David describes in pictorial language, a frightening situation that anyone can imagine almost completely tangible. What could be more horrible than walking in the valley of the shadow of death?
People who went through the worst of all in life, people whose life path led them through hell, and yet they came out of it whole. Personally, this verse takes me only to one place, to the Holocaust of the Jews of Europe.
Jews who lived in the flames of hell for years and managed to survive it. Of the few survivors, not all remained with faith and not all remained in a stable mental state but the things they went through, give us a very sad perspective of indescribable suffering and at the same time, also the hope that even out of the most horrible hell, life managed to survive, grow and self-cultivate more roots.
The attached video is a religious Jewish song (in Hebrew) and its lyrics are the verse we are discussing. In the background, photos from Auschwitz death camp.
But it is important not to get confused about the message of Judaism. Judaism does not encourage the request for mercy and weeping as a solution, on the contrary, Judaism also demands action. When we are in trouble of any kind, whether it is sorrow, or sadness, or disappointment, we can pray to God and ask for mercy but we must take action to try to correct the situation.
It may be that these verses teach us that one of the deeds we can do is to share the sorrow and sadness we have with someone else, a close friend, a family member. When we talk and share with a close person what weighs on our hearts, there is a release action in it that helps us deal with sadness.
Moses, the mythological leader of the Jewish people, is already 120 years old and knows that he will no longer be able to lead the people of Israel into the Land of Israel and therefore he tells them his will.
In this verse we have quoted, Moses encourages the people of Israel towards the great challenges that await them at the entrance to the Land of Israel and says to them: Do not be afraid, God is always with you and keeps you.
And it is clear that this message is a message for generations, not to be afraid of challenges, not to be afraid of life itself, but to live them and move on and trust in God who will always be by our side. Faith is a tremendous source of strength that can help us safely overcome many obstacles that life presents to us.