- Misery Loves Company
- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Reader: Where do the Sages make a statement like ''Two people
who share a problem or affliction, that is half the consolation''?
Wouldn't it be more of a consolation to know that someone else is not
suffering? Thank you.
- Mesora: I do not know from where
that statement comes, but it makes sense, and "misery loves
company" is in conformity with it.
- This statement teaches that part of the pain of personal troubles,
is the additional feeling of persecution.
- True, one who is objective will not be glad to hear of his friend's
misfortune. However, most of mankind is consoled when some aspect of
the pain is lifted, even through another's pain. Although physical or
psychological pain remains, one experiences relative ease when there
are lifted from him his feelings of persecution. It is no longer
"me alone" who is suffering. It is not "me" who is
the victim if others experience a similar fate. It is clear then that
"persecution" carries with its pain, the additional pain of
"isolation". If this were not the case, additional people
suffering would not be an ease.
- When the feeling of persecution is belittled by seeing others
sharing in our plight, our pain becomes more bearable, as this
"victimized" feeling" abates.