"This Too Shall Pass" Ring
Emptiness is impermanence; it is change
Thich Nhat Hanh
This Ring is based on the legend of King Solomon, the wisest of men. This tale appears in many different versions in many cultures all over the world, due to the fact that the principle that lies behind the ring is a principle that is relevant to all our lives as human beings.
King Solomon had an army commander named Benyahu Ben Yehoyada. It was during the Passover holiday Solomon and the kingdom’s ministers convened for the holidays. At the time of the festive meal, King Solomon decided to sting his army commander Benyahu Ben Yehoyada, who was a conceited man. “Benyahu”, Solomon addressed the army commander,” I am in need of a special ring, a ring that has a special power. This is a ring that, when looked upon, turns a sad man happy and a happy man sad. I know that only you of all people can find such a ring. I need such a ring by the eve of the feast of Tabernacles, the next holiday eve that begins in half a year’s time. This way, you will have enough time to locate the ring.” The army commander did not doubt his own ability for a moment and responded that he will find the ring.
Time passed, and Benyahu searched for the ring in every possible place, he sent agents, checked registries, consulted elders, and despite all these attempts, he was not able to find even a clue as to the existence of such a ring. Finally, the eve of the feast of Tabernacles arrived, and Benyahu found himself wandering through the markets of Jerusalem. The Sun was beginning to set and the peddlers were busy shutting down their stalls. In his despair, the minister approached an old goldsmith and told him about the ring he was searching for. The Goldsmith listened and then took out a simple gold ring and engraved on it three letters and presented it to the army commander. Benyahu looked at the ring and immediately smiled; this was exactly the ring he was looking for.
The Holiday Eve arrived and Solomon’s people convened. Solomon turned to Benyahu, smiling and asked him if he had found the ring. To Solomon’s surprise, the army commander took out a ring and presented it to the king. The king looked at the ring, looked at the beauty and splendour that surrounded it, he then looked around at his ministers, and his smile vanished. On the ring were engraved three letters in Hebrew, ג.ז.י, (translated into English, four) T.T.W.P, initials for “THIS TOO SHALL PASS”…
The tale tells us that the understanding that all is ephemeral and knowing that all our power, wealth and influence here are temporary. This realization brought King Solomon to write the book of Ecclesiastes, which deals with philosophical questions regarding the meaning of life and the pursuit of happiness.
On the center of the ring appears the three letters ג.ז.י while on the length of the ring is engraved the following verse from Ecclesiastes Chapter 1, verse 9 translated into English:
“That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.”
How the ring was created
A few weeks ago, I met a childhood friend that I hadn’t seen in years. Over the years, he had become a businessman who had experienced many great successes and failures. His personal story is a fascinating one. At a very young age, he discovered that one day, his parents lost all their belongings, and he himself was also in debt. As a result, he was compelled to go out and get a job. His belief carried him, and in a short time, he was financially successful at a very young age, he had paid back his family debts and had established businesses around the world. The world financial crisis did not spare him, and he was forced to close some of his businesses and start over.
The ring is created for the friend who told me the story that appears above. I told him I already had a similar ring in my collection, but he was adamant that he wanted a new ring based on the story of King Solomon. When I read the book of Ecclesiastes again, which King Solomon had written in his old age, I understood exactly why.
King Solomon was a man who had everything, great power and wealth. Towards the end of his days, he also saw through the illusion that amassing wealth and power is the source of happiness. He, therefore, turned to spiritual seeking. This same friend also understood this truth, and he too, turned to the spiritual path in pursuit of happiness.