Anxiety in Jewish Text
(ז) וַיָּשֻׁ֙בוּ֙ הַמַּלְאָכִ֔ים אֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֖ב לֵאמֹ֑ר בָּ֤אנוּ אֶל־אָחִ֙יךָ֙ אֶל־עֵשָׂ֔ו וְגַם֙ הֹלֵ֣ךְ לִקְרָֽאתְךָ֔ וְאַרְבַּע־מֵא֥וֹת אִ֖ישׁ עִמּֽוֹ׃ (ח) וַיִּירָ֧א יַעֲקֹ֛ב מְאֹ֖ד וַיֵּ֣צֶר ל֑וֹ וַיַּ֜חַץ אֶת־הָעָ֣ם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּ֗וֹ וְאֶת־הַצֹּ֧אן וְאֶת־הַבָּקָ֛ר וְהַגְּמַלִּ֖ים לִשְׁנֵ֥י מַחֲנֽוֹת׃
(7) The messengers returned to Jacob, saying, “We came to your brother Esau; he himself is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.” (8) Jacob was greatly frightened; in his anxiety, he divided the people with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps,
וַיֹּ֧אמֶר לָהֶ֛ם הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ חֲל֣וֹם חָלָ֑מְתִּי וַתִּפָּ֣עֶם רוּחִ֔י לָדַ֖עַת אֶֽת־הַחֲלֽוֹם׃
and the king said to them, “I have had a dream and I am full of anxiety to know what I have dreamed.”

(ד) וַ֠תָּבוֹאינָה נַעֲר֨וֹת אֶסְתֵּ֤ר וְסָרִיסֶ֙יהָ֙ וַיַּגִּ֣ידוּ לָ֔הּ וַתִּתְחַלְחַ֥ל הַמַּלְכָּ֖ה מְאֹ֑ד וַתִּשְׁלַ֨ח בְּגָדִ֜ים לְהַלְבִּ֣ישׁ אֶֽת־מָרְדֳּכַ֗י וּלְהָסִ֥יר שַׂקּ֛וֹ מֵעָלָ֖יו וְלֹ֥א קִבֵּֽל׃

(4) When Esther’s maidens and eunuchs came and informed her, the queen was greatly agitated. She sent clothing for Mordecai to wear, so that he might take off his sackcloth; but he refused.

לְדַמֶּ֗שֶׂק בּ֤וֹשָֽׁה חֲמָת֙ וְאַרְפָּ֔ד כִּי־שְׁמֻעָ֥ה רָעָ֛ה שָׁמְע֖וּ נָמֹ֑גוּ בַּיָּ֣ם דְּאָגָ֔ה הַשְׁקֵ֖ט לֹ֥א יוּכָֽל׃
Concerning Damascus. Hamath and Arpad are shamed, For they have heard bad news. They shake with anxiety, Like the sea which cannot rest.
(כג) נֹ֘דֵ֤ד ה֣וּא לַלֶּ֣חֶם אַיֵּ֑ה יָדַ֓ע ׀ כִּֽי־נָכ֖וֹן בְּיָד֣וֹ יֽוֹם־חֹֽשֶׁךְ׃ (כד) יְֽ֭בַעֲתֻהוּ צַ֣ר וּמְצוּקָ֑ה תִּ֝תְקְפֵ֗הוּ כְּמֶ֤לֶךְ ׀ עָתִ֬יד לַכִּידֽוֹר׃
(23) He wanders about for bread—where is it? He knows that the day of darkness has been readied for him. (24) Troubles terrify him, anxiety overpowers him, Like a king expecting a siege.
דְּאָגָ֣ה בְלֶב־אִ֣ישׁ יַשְׁחֶ֑נָּה וְדָבָ֖ר ט֣וֹב יְשַׂמְּחֶֽנָּה׃

If there is anxiety in a man’s mind let him quash it, And turn it into joy with a good word.

הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, מַרְבֶּה בָשָׂר, מַרְבֶּה רִמָּה. מַרְבֶּה נְכָסִים, מַרְבֶּה דְאָגָה. מַרְבֶּה נָשִׁים, מַרְבֶּה כְשָׁפִים. מַרְבֶּה שְׁפָחוֹת, מַרְבֶּה זִמָּה. מַרְבֶּה עֲבָדִים, מַרְבֶּה גָזֵל. מַרְבֶּה תוֹרָה, מַרְבֶּה חַיִּים. מַרְבֶּה יְשִׁיבָה, מַרְבֶּה חָכְמָה. מַרְבֶּה עֵצָה, מַרְבֶּה תְבוּנָה. מַרְבֶּה צְדָקָה, מַרְבֶּה שָׁלוֹם. קָנָה שֵׁם טוֹב, קָנָה לְעַצְמוֹ. קָנָה לוֹ דִבְרֵי תוֹרָה, קָנָה לוֹ חַיֵּי הָעוֹלָם הַבָּא:

He used to say: The more flesh, the more worms; The more property, the more anxiety; The more wives, the more witchcraft; The more female slaves, the more lewdness; The more slaves, the more robbery; [But] the more Torah, the more life; The more sitting [in the company of scholars], the more wisdom; The more counsel, the more understanding; The more charity, the more peace. If one acquires a good name, he has acquired something for himself; If one acquires for himself knowledge of torah, he has acquired life in the world to come.

אלא משום דכתיב לא תעיל דויא בלבך דגברי גיברין קטל דויא הא שלמה אמרה (משלי יב, כה) דאגה בלב איש ישחנה ר' אמי ור' אסי חד אמר ישיחנה מדעתו וחד אמר ישיחנה לאחרים
Rather, perhaps the book poses a difficulty because it is written there: Do not introduce anxiety into your heart, as anxiety has killed mighty men (Ben Sira 14:1; 30:29). Didn’t Solomon already say it in the verse: “Anxiety in a man’s heart dejects him [yashḥena]” (Proverbs 12:25)? Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi interpret the term homiletically and read it as yesiḥenna. One says that it means: He shall remove it [yesiḥenna] from his mind, and that will ease his anxiety. And one says: He shall tell it [yesiḥenna] to others, and that will ease his anxiety. Both agree with the statement of ben Sira.
וכתיב (במדבר י, לג) ויסעו מהר ה' דרך שלשת ימים אמר רבי חמא בר חנינא אותו היום סרו מאחרי ה' וכתיב (במדבר יא, ד) והאספסוף אשר בקרבו התאוו תאוה וישובו ויבכו גם בני ישראל וגו' וכתיב (במדבר יא, כ) עד חדש ימים וגו' דהוו להו עשרין ותרתין בסיון
And it is further written: “And they set forward from the mount of the Lord three days’ journey” (Numbers 10:33). Rabbi Ḥama bar Ḥanina said: That very day, they turned away from God by displaying their anxiety about leaving Mount Sinai. And it is written: “And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting, and the children of Israel also wept on their part, and said: Would that we were given flesh to eat” (Numbers 11:4). And it is written that the Jews ate the meat “for an entire month” (Numbers 11:20). If one adds to the first twenty days an additional three days’ journey, these are twenty-three days. Consequently, the subsequent month of twenty-nine days of eating meat ended on the twenty-second of Sivan.