All pleasures come to us from Paradise, even good jokes. Joy is on a higher plane than grief. Even with the new-born child, tears come first and then smiles. Joy constitutes a higher state, for it springs from the Higher Worlds, from the Glory of the Almighty.
Thus it is Joy that washes away all sin.
- Reb Pinchas of Koritz from “Midrash Pinchas”