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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Nobody can take away your joy

Daf Yomi Yevamos 118

The once mighty Samson was now bound by chains on show for the wicked Philistines to make a mockery of.  But something was happening inside his body.  While he had originally been captured when his wife had shorn his precious locks, the secret to his strength; they had begun to grow again while in captivity. 

Realizing that he had one final chance to destroy the top Philistine brass, he gathered the little strength he could.  With the cry, “Let me die along with the Philistines,” he reached his arms out to the pillars on either side and pulled them down, bringing the entire building down upon himself and all its occupants.

The Mishnah states: If a man travelled overseas with his two wives and upon their return one claims he died and the other claims he did not die, the first may remarry while the second may not.

The Gemara asks: Is the reason the second may not marry because she said he did not die?  If she had remained silent, may she marry?  But a co-wife may not testify on behalf of another!

The Gemara answers: No. The Mishnah specifically wanted to teach the case where she said he did not die.  For you might have thought that we assume he died and the only reason she is claiming he did not is because she despises her co-wife so much that she is willing to bring herself down along with her, by impeding them both from the opportunity to remarry.  In essence, she is saying, “Let me die along with the Philistines.” 

Some people are so awful that in their desire to destroy other people they are willing to even bring themselves down in the process.  Of course when Samson brought the house down, he did it for the right reasons – he was saving the Children of Israel.  But when this co-wife testifies that the husband is still alive, she is not only hurting her friend, but she is destroying her own life in the process.  And yet, she is willing to do so, so great is her hatred.

There are no shortage of haters in this world.  They will do everything they can to take away your joy.   They will go through life being the naysayers, always criticizing.   Just ignore them!   They can ruin their own lives; don’t let them drag you down with them!  You must remain positive, joyful, optimistic, cheerful, friendly! 

No one other than you gets to decide whether your life will be joyful.  The haters will stop at nothing to have company in their misery, even if it means causing even greater misery to themselves.  Don’t let them bring you down.  You can choose to be the constant optimist, despite the naysayers.  May you merit living a life of joy and positivity and avoiding the evil influence of those who choose to live a life of misery!