Examine Your Life
Question  14: What's wrong with excessive laughter?*

   Rabbi Schwartz :
The prophets reached heavenly inspiration not by being slack, sad, laughing, clowning or idle chatter, rather with the joy of doing mitzvos.** Still, what is wrong with laughter?

Laughter indicates victory. It says, we have arrived, we have conquered all - all we need to conquer, and can rest on our laurels. As Jews this is far from our present reality. We need to improve our lives and this at two levels:
1) Individually, we need to grow our Torah knowledge, improve our character, and strive towards reaching our potential.
2) As a community/people, we have to pray for the coming of Mashiach, the rebuilding of the Temple, and the return of the Divine Presence - the Shechina - to our midst.
To laugh in a full way, without reaching these goals, is to laugh the idiot's laugh.

A time will come when we reach our full destiny, personally and as a people, "…then our mouths will be filled laughter".**

* The Talmud (Brochos 31a) teaches that a person should not fill his mouth with laughter while yet in this world. Rather, he should reserve it for when the Jewish people is redeemed.
** Pesachim 117a
*** Tehillim 126.2

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