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Harriet Berkal


That Saying Comes from Jewish Folklore

by Harriet Berkal, July 12, 2021


I was a bit shocked to learn the phrase: “ This too shall pass “ has a history in Jewish legend.


"King Solomon once searched for a cure against depression. He assembled his wise men together. They meditated for a long time and gave him the following advice: Make yourself a ring and have thereon engraved the words 'This too will pass.' The King carried out the advice. He had the ring made and wore it constantly. Every time he felt sad and depressed, he looked at the ring, whereon his mood would change and he would feel cheerful"
-Israel Folklore Archive # 126 (


Clearly that expression, gave him HOPE that whatever he was feeling at the time wouldn’t last forever.


This past year and a half we are all dreaming of better days to come. The expectation that things will improve and trust can be restored fills our hearts.


But ACCOUNTABILITY is a very large part of this equation for an improved future. We are seeking answers for so much of what we have experienced or witnessed.


If we turn on the news it’s alerting our inner conscience that we cannot afford to turn a blind’s eye to the things we watch, as they unfold.


The pandemic has awaken our fears to a reality of an invisible enemy amongst our midst. We have needed to take extra precautionary measures to protect ourselves and our loved ones, plus our fellow man.


Still some diehards believe it’s just a flu where their own immune systems will weather the storm, despite news accounts of 3 million people dying globally.


They think this will simply pass. But as we can see, it’s mutated and the Delta variant is quite alive and deadlier than it’s predecessor. Is Covid gone? Will it ever go away ? We HOPE it will. Otherwise, how do we get through our days?


In Surfside Florida, a condominium collapses and crumbles like a soufflé.
Hundreds are still unaccounted for. This didn’t occur in a third world country. It happened in the USA. There were warnings ahead of time, but now someone will be forced to become accountable for lives lost which could totally have been avoided. The only silver lining here is that hopefully, there will improvements to engineering codes plus maintenance regulations, so that this never happens again.


What an incredible tragedy. It’s heartbreaking to hear stories from survivors and to watch families pray for a miracle which seems fairly unlikely at this stage.


No doubt a major class action suit will follow. But as the days pass, HOPE diminishes with it, as the reality sets in that no one else survived.


I was dumbfounded to hear of the release of celebrity Bill Cosby from prison. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out Cosby's sexual assault conviction on the basis that the District Attorney Kevin Steele, who made the decision to arrest Cosby, was obligated to stand by his predecessor's promise not to charge Cosby.  Nearly 60 female accusers, had come forward accusing Cosby. These women must feel devastated by the Court's ruling.  Do they feel as if they have been thrown under the bus? Has the judicial system failed them?  No doubt their HOPE and faith in the courts has waned.


An attempt to modify history is occurring on a mass scale. It is disgraceful to describe the January 6 th insurrection against the state capital aa merely another tourist day in Washington. The Republicans denial is unconscionable as the noose for corner Vice President Mike Pence hung outside in a makeshift gallows. There was an attack and the attempt to reframe it and shove it under the carpet, goes well beyond the pale. They refuse to vote for medals to acknowledge the Capital police who died and others who tried to stop this attack against democracy. How can this possibly be happening? Today we have technology which captures events in real time. Our TRUST in the political system is failing.


The discovery of mass graves in various provinces within Canada of slaughtered indigenous children from the residential schoolyards, serves as a harsh blemish on the history of our country. It is an inexcusable disgrace. How on earth did that happen? Why has it taken so long to discover these burial sites? Will that shame pass ? It shouldn’t! It needs to be addressed and dealt with at the highest level. The violation is massive. We live on their land and beneath it rests the bodies of murdered children.


What CHANCE do the Indigenous people of Canada have, that this massacre will somehow be rectified and acknowledged properly ?


We are also seeing a tremendous rise in hate crimes against Jews, Asians, Muslims and people who are transgender or gay. People are being attacked in broad daylight.


We have been here before in history. So yes it’s shocking and there is a essential need to try and educate people but we know better. Their hatred is coming out as it has before during economic chaos and this evokes blinding racial mayhem.


So that saying of:” This too shall pass “ has taken on a bandaid connotation. It’s as if, yes things are bad but they will get better soon.


I don’t recall witnessing such blinding acts wreaking havoc in our world at every corner where we turn.


We must do better!


We cannot let history repeat itself.


We must learn from our past mistakes and turn that into something positive and lasting.


We must make those accountable pay.


We all HOPE for a better world, one with inclusiveness and tolerance.


“ Accountability breeds Responsibility”
Stephen R. Covey
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