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Simcha- Good Or Bad?

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 14/9/2019

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Simcha- Good Or Bad?

                We know that there is no man so righteous on earth that he always does good and never sins-אדם אין צדיק בארץ אשר יעשה טוב ולא יחטא.[1] However, when one sins how does he feel? Is he happy about it or does he regret it?[2] There are those that while they are sinning, wish they could withdraw from it.


                When Moshe descended from the mountain and saw the Jews worshipping the Eigel he smashed the Luchos. Is that why he broke them? He already heard from Hashem what was happening? The wording of the Pasuk is וירא את העגל ומחלת...וישבר- he saw the calf and the dances…and he smashed the Luchos.[3] Once he saw they were happy- symbolized from their dancing- he got angry and then broke it.[4] In this light, the Kotzker translates תחת אשר לא עבדת את ה' אלה-יך בשמחה[5]- not only did you not serve Hashem, but you did it with Simcha.

R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance. 

[1] Koheles 7:20

[2] A wise man once remarked ‘I never saw a complete Malach created from a sin,’ as there was always some regret or the like.

[3] Shemos 32:19

[4] Sforno s.v. וירא. See Emes L’Yaakov, Shemos 32:19.

[5] Devarim 28:47. See Mayana Shel Torah, Shemos, 32:19. 

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