Throughout history, humans have sought joy. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lived in peace and spiritual enlightenment, free from worry and hardship. Yet they were not content, leading them to succumb to the temptation of the forbidden fruit. Eve’s desire was not for the fruit itself but for a sense of individuality. This pursuit of ego led to disastrous consequences, with humanity deteriorating rapidly, moral corruption spreading, and the Flood coming upon the earth.
Upon leaving the ark, Noah became a farmer and planted a vineyard. He drank the wine and became intoxicated. Noah’s intention was to rectify the spiritual impact of the sin of the Tree of Knowledge by suspending his sense of self through drunkenness, hoping this would bring him joy. However, he soon realized that true joy cannot be achieved by escaping self-awareness through alcohol.
Sarah was the first to experience a truly joyous life, correcting the negative behaviors of Eve and Noah. She understood that joy does not come from self-experience, nor can it be achieved by escaping self-awareness, as Noah tried to do with alcohol. Sarah realized that joy comes from dedicating ourselves to something greater by connecting with G-d.
When Sarah gave birth to a son, she named him Isaac, which means “joy” and “laughter.” Isaac represents the Messianic era, a time when our lives will be filled with endless joy—the joy of serving G-d along with the kingdom of Moshiach. To rise above the ego, one must transcend oneself by becoming part of a larger mission. This mission is to improve the world by serving G-d and adhering to His seven Noahide laws. This will eradicate evil and bring about redemption.
*This is from a series of articles by Rabbi Bernstein Moshe.