Feeling Those Post-Holiday Blues? Don’t Worry, Gam Zeh Ya’avor (This, Too, Shall Pass).

A Jewish folktale holds that the wisest of kings, King Solomon, felt his most trusted minster, Benaiah ben Yehoyada, needed a lesson in humility. So one day, he asked his minister to find him a ring that he could wear for Sukkot that could make a happy person sad, and make a sad person happy. King Solomon doubted that his minister would be able to ever find such a ring, and surely not in such a short amount of time. 

Yet his faithful minister set out, searching the kingdom, but to no avail. Returning in time for the holiday, the minister was passing though an impoverished neighborhood in Jerusalem, headed back to the palace, when he noticed an elderly man on the ground, sitting upon a threadbare rug, selling some odd little pieces of jewelry. 
The minister explained to the man the challenge the king had assigned him, and told him of his search, but with no luck. The older man smiled and handed him a ring, which the minister promptly took back to the palace. King Solomon assembled his court and called the minister before him, smiling at the thought of his victory. The minister handed him a ring with a small inscription, upon which reading, the king was immediately humbled. The ring read, “Gam Zeh Ya’avor” (This, Too, Shall Pass).  
When we’re in need of comfort that we’ll get through something, or that something won’t last forever, we often find comfort in this expression. Nothing is permanent, the hard times won’t last forever, and we will have happiness once again. The expression honors the past, what someone has been though, while looking to the future with a heartfelt hope that new blessings and joys are ahead of us.  
And yet, Maimonides reminds us (in Regimen of Health, III) that we shouldn’t only focus on the troubled times, looking for comfort in times of grief, but we should also be aware of good times, celebrating little moments with gratitude. 
Looking for a ring as beautiful as King Solomon’s inspiration? The Western Wall Collection by Liza Shtromberg Jewelry is made from an imprint of the stone texture at the Kotel in Jerusalem.  It is a special way to keep the Western Wall close to you and will quickly become a classic in your jewelry box. Available in sterling silver and rose, white, and yellow gold, with shiny or matte finish, and can be customized with gemstones or personalized with engraving.
Wearing a Gam Zeh Ya’avor ring can be a meaningful reminder of the value in living a full life of gratitude, appreciating and celebrating the hard moments, knowing they make the good times even sweeter. 
May you wear your jewelry in good health and in stormy skies, resting assured that “this, too, shall pass.” 

The Enigma of Shavuot Holiday

Tikun Olam

Yesterday marked the end of Shavuot.  A significant but somewhat enigmatic holiday, Shavuot celebrates the receiving of the Torah from God. The festival is celebrated with all-night Torah study sessions, re-visiting of the Ten Commandments, and a hearty dairy feast.

According to oral traditions and legends, the holiday marks a day of revelation for the Jewish people.  A time in history — more than 3,000 years ago, having experienced collective epiphany, the Jews made an everlasting covenant with God.  The holiday is an annual reminder of this covenant to accept Him as the sole deity and follow His laws as spelled out in the Torah.

In Hebrew, Shavuot means “weeks” and is sometimes referred to as the “Feast of Weeks”. This is probably because the festival marks the end of a seven week period after Passover during which the Jewish people prepared themselves to receive the Torah.  Part and parcel of the Torah are the oh-so famous Ten Commandments.

But did you know that these ten are just a fraction of the 613 commandments mentioned in the Torah?

Commandments, also known as “mitzvot”, are the cornerstones of Jewish religious and cultural life.  When it comes to commandments, much like any modern hot list, there are “DO’s” and “DON’Ts”.  Surprisingly there are 248 “Do’s” and a whopping 365 “Don’ts” — one for every day of the year.

In today’s over-saturated, over-stimulated, and largely secular society it’s easy for the sacred teachings to fade into the background of the daily grind. Keep the teachings close to your heart with a simple and beautiful reminder of a Western Wall collection necklace. 

As you browse the site, you’ll find many gorgeous necklaces with Jewish sayings and symbols. May they serve as powerful reminders to always receive and practice the teachings of the Torah.

Want a custom designed piece with your favorite commandment? Email us or contact by phone (323) 913-1444 to set up a free consultation.