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    Sorrow or joy? – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Which makes you a better person, sorrow or joy?

    A. It depends on the joy and the sorrow. Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev says there are two kinds of each.

    When you obsess about the misfortunes that have befallen you and you feel lost, alone and unwanted, that is a bad kind of sorrow. But the sorrow that comes from realising what you have lost can help you work through the trauma and handle it constructively.

    Joy also has two versions. If you pursue empty pleasures and fail to see that they lack substance you are a fool. But if you have a task to perform and you sing as you work, you know real joy.

    Which is better, sorrow or joy? Both can be good; both can be bad.

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