Let’s just look at Ben Zoma (Avos 4:1):
אֵיזֶהוּ עָשִׁיר? הַשָּׂמֵחַ בְּחֶלְקוֹ.
Who is wealthy? Someone who is sameiach, happy, with their lot.
Ben Zoma isn’t arguing for complacency. Look at his prooftext:
שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: יְגִ֣יעַ כַּ֭פֶּיךָ כִּ֣י תֹאכֵ֑ל אַ֝שְׁרֶ֗יךָ וְט֣וֹב לָֽךְ׃
אַשְׁרֶיךָ — בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶּה. וְטוֹב לָךְ — לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא.
As it says (Tehillim 128:2): “When you eat the labor of your hands, you are enriched and
it is good for you.”
“You are enriched” — in this world. “And it is good for you” — in the world to come.
Notice that one’s חלק, one’s lot or portion, is also described as a journey to something in another mishnah (Sanhedrin 10:1), which opens (emphasis added):
כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל יֵשׁ לָהֶם חֵלֶק לָעוֹלָם הַבָּא.
Every Jew has a חלק to the World to Come.
Ben Zoma is not telling us to be happy with what we have in the here-and-now, but to be happy with the path Hashem put us on to get to the World to Come, and happy in this world with the work we were assigned to get to a happy “place” there.
(This thought is explained at more length and depth in Widen Your Tent
, pp. 316-322, sec. “7.9: פסולתן של לוחות — Extra Pieces of the Luchos”. Teaser: Note how Birkhas haShanim, the berakhah in Shemoneh Esrei about wealth opens and closes talking about time. Being happy not with the money, but with the year’s work of earning it. )
To me, that’s Simchas Purim. The happiness of
לַיְּהוּדִ֕ים הָֽיְתָ֥ה אוֹרָ֖ה וְשִׂמְחָ֑ה וְשָׂשֹׂ֖ן וִיקָֽר׃
For the Jews there was light and happiness, joy and preciousness.
Or, as the Rabbi Yehudah unpacks it for us (see also “For the Jews, There Was Light
(light) refers to Torah, simchah
(happiness) is Yom Tov, sason
(joy) is beris milah
, and yeqar
(preciousness) is tefillin.
The joy of Purim, , is not in studying Torah and doing mitzvos alone. It is in seeing the light, happiness, joy and preciousness of our חלק (lot), our path to the World to Come.