By Five Towns Marriage Initiative

In this week’s parashah, Parashas Shemini, Aharon’s sons died and Aharon reacted with silence, as the pasuk tells us, “Vayidom Aharon.” Hashem then came to Aharon and told him, “Yayin v’sheichar al teisht.” He taught Aharon the laws of not drinking wine while performing the service in the Mishkan. The Kli Yakar points out that Hashem only comes to a person who is in a state of happiness. When Aharon lost his sons, people might have thought that he was silent from grief, so Hashem specifically came to Aharon at that time. He wanted to show the nation that Aharon’s silence stemmed from happiness even during difficulty, which is an exalted level that great people reach. Since Aharon was still in a state of happiness, he was able to have Hashem come to him and teach him Torah laws.

It is amazing to realize how even at such a time Aharon was able to achieve a level of happiness. The kind of happiness he had was not an outward smiley, giggly kind of joy. Rather it was an inner peace, a happiness of knowing that he was in Hashem’s Hands and this is not a world that is random, and there is an ultimate point to whatever pain or suffering is experienced.

We walk around feeling sad, dejected, and depressed, yet if Aharon could feel joy and happiness at the worst time, we certainly can find it in ourselves to be happy. Rav Avigdor Miller commented that there are two kinds of depression. One kind is a real, organic disorder that requires proper treatment. The other kind, though, he described as a depression that people put upon themselves. He says that every moment a person has to choose to be happy. There are countless situations that can pull a person down, and at every step of the way a person has to tell himself that he will not allow other people or situations to take control of his mood. In this way, we can continue to have a happy state of mind.

We should merit to always be happy in every situation, and in this way our homes will be happy places and our marriages will certainly be happy and joyful as well. v

Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00—11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail


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