“טוֹב יֶלֶד מִסְכֵּן, וְחָכָם–מִמֶּלֶךְ זָקֵן וּכְסִיל, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַע לְהִזָּהֵר עוֹד.”
“Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.”
‘A poor and wise youth’ is our good side that accompanies us from age 13. ‘King’ is the negative side and the evil inclination. He is considered a king because he has control in our world.
‘old’ because he exists before man was born. ‘Foolish’ because he walks in the dark, as it said in Ecclesiastes 2:14
“וְהַכְּסִיל בַּחֹשֶׁךְ הוֹלֵךְ” “but the fool walks in darkness.”
Rabbi Shimon explains that ‘a poor youth’ is the good side because it doesn’t have from its own and always in need to renew itself like the moon. He is wise because he connects to the light of wisdom, Chokmah.
“נַעַר, הָיִיתִי– גַּם-זָקַנְתִּי:
וְלֹא-רָאִיתִי, צַדִּיק נֶעֱזָב; וְזַרְעוֹ, מְבַקֶּשׁ-לָחֶם.”
“I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.”
The light of Chassadim is called “נער” “youth” and growing old is the state of earning the light of Chokmah. Then the state of ‘poorness’ ends by the connection of the Tzadik and light flows to the world.
With every cycle of renewal we can grow to achieve higher spiritual level. The moment of birth is a renewal from previous life. Every week, month and year we have opportunities to connect to the process of growth through the connections of Shabbat, Rosh Chodesh and holidays. During the holidays that we celebrate from Rosh Hashanah through Sukkot we have major renewal and greater opportunity to control the ‘old and foolish king’.