Contact Us
When is sadness bad? When is it a necessary and even positive tool for self-betterment?

The Kabbalah of Sadness

The Kabbalah of Sadness

 Email
Autoplay

Kabbalah of Sadness

When is sadness bad? When is it a necessary and even positive tool for self-betterment?
Listen to Audio | Download this MP3
Tanya, Sadness; Grief
Rabbi Mendel Kaplan is the founder and spiritual leader of Chabad Flamingo in Thornhill, Ontario, he also serves as a Chaplain of the York Regional Police Service.
Michael Chighel (Kigel) received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Toronto for his dissertation on the Book of Job, after a specialization in 20th-century French and German thought. In Canada he taught in the departments of philosophy and of Jewish studies at the universities of York, Queen’s and Waterloo. He produced Passages and Messages for eleven seasons on Canadian television (CTS). Until this year he held the Rohr Chair of Jewish Studies at the Lauder Business School in Vienna, where he taught Torah, European ethics and political economy. He has translated a number of books and published various articles in Jewish thought. Michael and his family have recently made aliyah, and now live in Jerusalem.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
10 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Liliana Orozco Rockford July 19, 2017

My doggie passed away suddenly two days ago after a minor surgery, I am deeply sad. Is that a sin? Reply

Lynna Oceanside, Ca February 17, 2017

Strengthen The Positive Side To strengthen the positive side means to do charity work...services work...for others. Through positive action, you are negating evil. Reply

Suzanne Steinberg Arizona, USA March 11, 2014

I found this interesting that they are wanting to be bitter instead of sad. I think that there was good point that wasn't addressed in the sense that there are different levels of sadness, different depths. Not all experiences are the same, and therefore only the deepest levels of sadness have the middle step of bitterness before healing. Sadness is not passive, it is actually very difficult to be depressed that requires much effort to strain against. Healing sadness is not action, but a spiritual experience of powerless, and those lessons that are connected to those feelings. There is no empowerment in sadness it is the natural evolution of sadness which becomes empowering. Reply

Kayo Tokyo, Japan August 2, 2010

I live in Japan.
I had a major setback in my plan to convert in Israel.
I was hospitalized and unemployed for nearly 2 years. But I will transform the setback to a stepping stone. Reply

Laura May 6, 2010

Thank You One of the most helpful things I have ever heard in my life. G-d never forgets me....He always sends a messenger to put me on the right path before long. Thank you Chabad for being the messenger quite often! Reply

Anonymous via chabadlive.com January 17, 2010

OY! Wow this helped me IMMENSELY. Reply

zahava green August 16, 2009

michoel kiegel I wish the interviewer would stop asking redundant questions and let the rabbi, who is clearly more educated than the interviewer, speak. It is difficult for rabbi kaplan to finish one sentence! How annoying to watch. Reply

Mrs. Rene O'Riordan Dublin 16, Ireland April 29, 2009

The Kabbalah of Sadness "The beauty of this world has made me sad, this beauty that will pass". A sunset, a baby's smile, an unexpected kindness from a stranger and a thousand million joys that flesh is heir to, can make me sad. I think it is like a reminder of HOME where all is perfect. We are strangers in this present world. We have been exiled from the Garden and our deepest selves cannot forget the beauty and the happiness which G-d created us for. Sadness is a gentle longing for home. Bitterness is quite something else and yes, fight that tooth and nail. - Blessings Reply

mike April 27, 2009

some comments I imagine strengthing your positive side through sin as realizing this particular action, although wrong and sinful and a blemish in your spiritual level, has the power to evoke out of you a greater degree of spiritual devotion. Although i firmly believe one should always strive to stay away from sin. theres no progression like diligence and a very strong moral center. We all want to see others act in upright ways, and anyone who justifies sins for the sake of atonement is sorta living a sabbatean/greek sorta lifestyle. And that in my opinion is abominable and a scourge to the soul of every Jew. I want to believe in the moral strength of others. In humility before G-d, in love and charity to others. In the littlest of things which inspires strength and greater piety to every individual. We should all strive in this way. Reply

Anonymous April 26, 2009

what does it mean to strenthen the positive side when one is tempted to sin? as rabbi kaplan mentioned? Reply

Host, Michael Chighel, talks to some of the world's greatest experts about the masterpiece of Hasidic thought, the book of Tanya.
Related Topics