Category Archives: Emuna

Byron Katie’s Secret

Have you ever read the book Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie? In the book, Katie lays out four questions that she says help people alleviate mental suffering and anguish, improve relationships and truly see reality as it is.

Many people swear by this method of inner inquiry, which Katie calls “The Work.” I find it interesting, though, that an alternate technique that Katie admits renders her method unnecessary is buried at the end of the book.

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Learning How to Fail in the Israeli Army

I’m temporarily leaving my job on Tuesday to serve reserve duty (“miluim” in Hebrew) in the Israeli army for a few days. It’s always an honor to serve in the Israeli army, even in my limited role, and doing so usually reminds me of an important happiness lesson…

I made Aliyah at the age of 24, so I went through abbreviated basic training with older immigrants. A small group of us were tasked with learning how to drive tractors and bulldozers for rescue purposes (lifting up big pieces of a collapsed building to free civilians trapped underneath, etc.).

As part of this training under the auspices of The Home Front Command, we were required to get a special driver’s license to operate the heavy machinery. This meant passing a driving test and then a written theory test. Because I suffer from low self-esteem, I immediately started to panic.

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Atheism’s Least Favorite Science

There are several well-known personalities who have become famous, in part, by challenging the existence of God and organized religion. Science is often used to discredit the validity of God, by pitting evolution vs. creation theory, or demanding scientific evidence of God’s existence, etc.

This tactic continues today, despite religious leaders such as Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, who have stated that holy texts were never meant to be science books.

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How Can We Be Happy After a Terror Attack?

It’s a little strange to manage a blog about simcha (Jewish joy) in the aftermath of a devastating terror attack. What is the appropriate response the day after the massacre that took the lives of five Israelis at a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood yesterday?

My immediate response was to wake up and pray this morning. To wrap myself in my tallit and bind myself with tefillin, just as the victims had done shortly before they were massacred (it’s important to note that one police officer was also killed and others were wounded).

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Does Writing a Blog Make You Happier?

Will writing this blog make me happier? Or will I become sucked into the social media vortex?

My intention for starting Seeking Simcha is to chart my exploration of Jewish happiness. But obviously that’s something I can do offline. By putting the blog posts online and sharing them via social media, I am hoping to help others. Although this is still very much a brand new effort, I’m not succeeding so far. This blog has one follower, none of my six blog posts have received even a single comment and I have a whopping 23 Twitter followers.

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Are You Happy on a Rainy Day?

Rainy days are annoying, right? Who wants to get soaked when going outside or risk driving a car in the lowered visibility of a rainstorm?

Many people view rain as a negative phenomenon, but for our sages, it wasn’t enough to merely appreciate rain. They taught us to actively pray for it. Starting on Thursday evening, the 7th of Cheshvan, Jews in Israel will begin saying, “Grant dew and rain as a blessing” (ותן טל ומטר לברכה) in their daily prayers (Jews in the Diaspora begin saying it on December 4).

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