καὶ ἐνεθυμήθη ὁ θεὸς ὅτι ἐποίησεν τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, καὶ διενοήθη
kai and enethymēthē ho theos God pondered hoti that epoiēsen he made ho the anthrōpon man epi
upon ho the gēs earth, kai and dienoēthē he considered it.
The “pain” in childbirth and “toil” in working the ground (Gen. 3:16–17) translate the very same Hebrew word (ʿiṣṣābôn). The King James Version is more democratic in translating both as “sorrow.”
The verb for God being “grieved” in Gen. 6:6 derives from the same Hebrew root as the “pain” or “toil” that comes to humans as a result of their sin (3:16–17). In other words, we do not simply wound ourselves and affect other humans and the earth by our violent misuse of power; our violence wounds even God. The creator’s pain echoes our pain, so intimately is God bound up with the world he made.
Middleton, J. Richard. A New Heaven and a New Earth (p. 332). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
[נחם] verb Niph`al be sorry, console, oneself, etc. (only in derived species) (Late Hebrew Pi`el comfort; Phoenician in proper name Lzb322; ᵑ7 Pa`el = Late Hebrew, and derivatives; Christian-Palestinian Aramaic, Pa`el id., SchwIdioticon 54; Arabic breathe pantingly (of horse)); — Niph`al Perfect נִחַם Amos 7:3 4t.; נִח֑ם Jeremiah 20:16 2t.; 1 singular נִחַמְתִּי Genesis 6:7 8t.; נִחָ֑מְתִּי Zechariah 8:14; 2masculine plural נִחַמְתֶּם Ezekiel 14:22; Imperfect יִנָּחֵם Exodus 13:17 6t.; וַיִּנָּ֫תֶם Genesis 6:6 6t.; + 5 t. Imperfect; Imperative הִנָּחֵם Exodus 32:12; Psalm 90:13.; Infinitive הִנָּחֵם Jeremiah 31:15; 1 Samuel 15:29; Participle נִחָם Judges 21:15 3t.; —
2 be sorry, rue, suffer grief, repent, of one's own doings, absolute Exodus 13:17 (E), Psalm 106:45; Jeremiah 20:16; Joel 2:14; Zechariah 8:14; "" שׁקּר 1 Samuel 15:29 (twice in verse); מאס Job 42:6; שׁוב Jeremiah 4:28; Jeremiah 31:19; Jonah 3:9; חוּס Ezekiel 24:14; ׳לא נ, "" נשׂבע Psalm 110:4; c.עַל Amos 7:3,6; Jeremiah 8:6; Jeremiah 18:10; עלהֿרעה for ill done to others Exodus 32:12,14 (J), Jeremiah 18:8; Joel 2:13; Jonah 3:10; Jonah 4:2; אלהֿרעה 2 Samuel 24:16 = 1 Chronicles 21:15 (על), Jeremiah 26:8,13,19; Jeremiah 42:10; כְּי Genesis 6:6,7 (J), 1 Samuel 15:11,35.
3 comfort oneself, be comforted: absolute Genesis 38:12 (J) Psalm 77:3; Ezekiel 31:16; with עַל 2 Samuel 13:39; Jeremiah 31:15; על הרעה, concerning the evil Ezekiel 14:22; Ezekiel 32:31; אחרי Genesis 24:67 (J).
Piel Perfect נִחַם Isaiah 49:13; 8t. Perfect; Imperfect יְנַחֵם Job 29:25; 3masculine plural יְנַחֲמוּ Job 42:11; יְנַחֵמ֑וּן Zechariah 10:2 13t. Imperfect; Imperative נַחֲמוּ Isaiah 40:1 (twice in verse); Infinitive נַחֵם Isaiah 61:2; suffix נַחֲמוֺ Genesis 37:35 9t. Infinitive; Participle מְנַחֵם Lamentations 1:2, plural מְנַחֲמִים Psalm 69:21. + 11 t. Participle — comfort, console, absolute Genesis 37:35 (J), 1 Chronicles 19:3 = 2 Samuel 10:3; Psalm 69:21; Ecclesiastes 4:1 (twice in verse); Zechariah 10:2; Nahum 3:7; Lamentations 1:16; with accusative of person Genesis 50:21 (E) 2 Samuel 12:24; 1 Chronicles 7:21; 1 Chronicles 19:2; Job 2:11; Job 7:13; Job 21:34; Job 29:25; Ruth 2:13; Psalm 23:4; Psalm 71:21; Psalm 119:76; Psalm 119:82; Isaiah 12:1; Isaiah 22:4; Isaiah 40:1 (twice in verse); Isaiah 51:3 (twice in verse); Isaiah 51:12,19; Isaiah 61:2; Isaiah 66:13 (twice in verse); Ezekiel 14:23; Ezekiel 16:54; Zechariah 1:17; Lamentations 2:13; "" עזר Psalm 86:17; רַחֵם Isaiah 49:13; גאל Isaiah 52:9; שׂמּח Jeremiah 31:13; מן of thing Genesis 5:29 (J); על Jeremiah 16:7; Jeremiah 42:11; אל 2 Samuel 10:2 = על 1 Chronicles 19:2; מְנִחֲמֵי עמל Job 16:2; אֵין מְנַחֵם לְ Lamentations 1:2,9,17,21.
Hithpa. Perfect 1 singular וְהִנֶּחָ֑מְתּי (for ׳הִתְנ; but strike out Co) Ezekiel 5:13; Imperfect יִתְנֶחָ֑ם Deuteronomy 32:36 2t.; 1 singular אֶתְנֶח֑ם Psalm 119:52; Infinitive הִתְנַחֵם Genesis 37:35; Participle מִתְנַחֵם Genesis 27:42 —
2 rue, repent of, "" כזּב, Numbers 23:19 (poem).
The Hebrew word for sad is עצוב in the masculine and עצובה in the feminine.
The Hebrew word for nerve is עצב
This three-letter word gives rise to other related words, including עצבות and עצב
– both sadness, and עצבני
– nervous or irritated.
In verb form, we have the active-intensive to annoy (to make nervous) – לעצבן
, and the reflexive-intensive to get annoyed, nervous, irritated – להתעצבן
Synonyms of לעצבן and להתעצבן are להרגיז
and להתרגז , respectively.
Menaḥem Mendel of Kotsk
Menaḥem Mendel probably suffered from severe depression. He experienced a nervous breakdown in the spring of 1839 and was ill for several months. While he seems to have been functioning at the time of the High Holy Days of that year, a simmering dispute with his close disciple Mordekhai Yosef of Izhbits (Iżbica) reached a climax on Simḥat Torah. The details of the altercation are not known, but after this incident Menaḥem Mendel secluded himself for the last 20 years of his life. While he still saw family members and a few close disciples regularly, he refused to function as a tsadik. Despite his seclusion, Hasidim still flocked to Kotsk, hoping to hear his teachings. Periodically he would come out of his room and chase his followers away.
R. Yisrael Salanter -
Salanter moved to Kovno, where he established a Musar-focused yeshiva at the Nevyozer Kloiz. He retained charge until 1857, when he left Lithuania and moved to Prussia to recover from depression [Immanuel Etkes, Rabbi Israel Salanter and the Musar Movement (Jewish Publication Society, 1993), 250-251] According to Rabbi Hillel Goldberg’s book on Rav Yisroel Salanter, as well as Rabbi Israel Glenn’s book, Rav Yisroel Salanter ZT”L suffered from depression, what was called by his talmidim as a “mara shechora”.
Rabbi Israel originally traveled to Germany for medical reasons. He suffered from depression, and friends advised him to go to consult with the doctors in Halberstadt. While there Salanter stayed at the home of
the wealthy Emil Hirsch, who attempted to hasten his recovery. After spending about half a year in Halberstadt, Salanter decided not to return to Lithuania, but to remain there in order to devote himself to activities on behalf of the Jewish communities in Germany. To the surprise elicited by this decision, he responded with the following homily:
When the horses begin to gallop wildly... down the hill, it is totally imnpossible to stop them in the middle of the mountain ... but only after the horses have gone all the way downhill can they be stopped and calmed down. The same is true of the direction of communities. ... In the great cities of Russia, the
communities are galloping down the mountain, and are now in the middle of the descent, so it is impossible to bring about any order in them. But the communities abroad have already reached the bottom of the hill, so that it is now possible to halt them and to put them in place.
His remarks concerning the difficulty of halting horses galloping down the slope may reflect a certain disappointment or frustration as to the limited extent of the spread of the Mussar movement. During
the years that Salanter actively pursued that goal, he had hoped that it would be possible to halt the tendencies that threatened the tradition. The gap between his expectations in this regard and their realization in life may have been one of the factors that influenced his decision to leave Lithuania. In any event, what primarily attracted him and motivated him to live in Germany seems to have been the challenge to reconstruct the values and forms of tradition in those communities.
Rabbi Israel Salanter and the Mussar Movement: Seeking the Torah of Truth Hardcover – May 1, 1993
by Immanuel Etkes (Author) pp241-2
Of comparable stature is the troubled figure of Israel (Lipkin) Salanter. Founder of a Musar stream (ethical movement) that advocates intensive self-examination, Salanter suffers from midlife depression and moves to Prussia to recover in the home of wealthy supporters. “To succeed in business you need talent,” he tells his hosts, “but if you have such a talent, why waste it on business?” His writings ripple with paradoxes. The first Lithuanian rabbi to set up in the godless West and the first to attempt a translation of the Talmud into German, Salanter writes about morality and motivation, about conscious and unconscious impulses, in a manner that anticipates Sigmund Freud. Some see him as a pioneer of mindfulness, others as a forerunner of self-improvement books. He drifts to Paris, combating Reform with mild wit. “Reform,” he would say, “came to reform Judaism. I come to reform Jews.” His mailbox bulges with far-flung requests. Hasidim designate him the rebbe of the intellectuals.
Genius & Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World, 1847-1947 Hardcover – December 3, 2019
by Norman Lebrecht (Author) pp 116-117
“In addition to my other numerous acquaintances, I have one more intimate confidant… My depression is the most faithful mistress I have known — no wonder, then, that I return the love.”
― Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or: A Fragment of Life
“It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite.” What is this? “Since my earliest childhood a barb of sorrow has lodged in my heart. As long as it stays I am ironic if it is pulled out I shall die.”Mar 22, 2019