What is meant by the statement of Chazal that it’s אסור לאדם שימלא שחוק פיו בעולם הזה – “It’s forbidden for a person to fill his mouth with laughter in this world” (Brachos 31a)?
What that means is that you shouldn’t go all out even when it comes to a good thing like joy. A person should be limited in his joy. Yes, you can laugh; certainly you can laugh and be happy. Certainly you can enjoy this world. That’s what Hashem wants. Do you think it was an accident that apples taste so good? But to open your mouth unrestrainedly, and to fill your mouth with a guffaw of laughter, that’s ossur. Not in Olam Hazeh. In the Next World, that’s when our mouths will be filled with laughter.
Now, it says that it’s forbidden to fill your mouth with laughter, but you shouldn’t have any limitation in your heart. Your mouth shouldn’t be filled with merriment but your heart can be full of joy all the time. And if a man learns how to live properly, then his heart will be filled with happiness to no end.
TAPE # 630 (February 1987)