May 6, 2010, 2:43 p.m., on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Trading closes in just over an hour, and weary brokers are thinking about heading home. It's been a rough day. Indexes across the board are down on worries that Greece's national debt could lead to more serious financial problems all over Europe. There have been better days in the past… but today's nothing out of the ordinary.

Tension suddenly fills the air. The steady hustle and bustle of the stockroom floor is interrupted by alarmed shouting. People are pointing up at the big black monitors that display the values of the market indexes. The numbers are all dropping.


The Dow Jones Industrials Average has slipped 6 percent and is still falling. The tension quickly gives way to panic. The markets are in a free fall. Brokers start frantically dumping huge share volumes, trying to "get out before it's too late." In a matter of minutes, the crazy selling frenzy spreads across the globe as traders in Asia that have long gone to sleep are shaken from their beds in a desperate attempt to stem their already catastrophic losses. By 2:55 p.m., Dow Jones has plummeted more than 950 points, the largest single-day drop in history.

It quickly becomes apparent that despite all efforts to the contrary, the American financial system will not recover from its recession. The long-predicted demise of the world economy has finally come to pass. In the coming weeks, hundreds of thousands of people will be laid off from their jobs, as huge corporations are forced to declare bankruptcy, their assets having melted away into oblivion. The United States, once the symbol of wealth and prosperity, will now lead the world towards poverty and despair.

Until five minutes later.

By 3 o'clock, relieving news pours in across the wire. There's been a glitch. Apparently, a faulty computer algorithm has set off a series of high-volume trades, giving the impression of an epic market sell-off. Not need to worry, though. The erroneous transactions will be canceled and stock prices restored to their original values. By the end of the trading day, the markets have recovered most of their losses. And all of a sudden, the future is looking brighter...

All is well that ends well.

From the depths of depression, it is difficult to accurately perceive reality. In our minds, we conjure up horrible, apocalyptic visions of the future. It seems like things will never get better.

But if we would just take a step back and try to gain perspective, we would realize that, more often than not, our supposedly dreadful situations are simply a glitch in the system. A bump in the road. Just give it some time. Things will clear up, and all will be well.

This is true in our personal lives, as well as our nation's collective history.

"For a small moment have I forsaken you, and with great mercy will I gather you." (Isaiah 54:7).

"But," you ask, "can two thousand years of persecution, pain and suffering be written off as a 'small moment'?"

Though the pain of our exile is very real, G‑d assures us that He will redeem us from this suffering. And when that day comes, we will look back at the bitter exile, and it will seem like just "a small moment."

Like ten gut-wrenching minutes on the stock exchange floor.