Do you want to be happier? The creation story found in the first weekly Torah portion, Bereishit, has much to teach us about simcha (Jewish happiness). Here are four important lessons:
The following four tech tools have given a big boost to my search for happiness. Hopefully some of them can also help you in 2016. Please note: I am not affiliated with these products and I’m not receiving any money or benefits to promote them.
Jews around the world recently finished reading the last Torah portion of the year. So what do we do now? Rest for a while? Find another book, maybe? Go fishing?
“Simcha, what happened? You put on A LOT of weight since I saw you last!”
That’s how Abuelo (may his memory be for a blessing) greeted me last May, which was one of the last times I had the privilege of seeing him (although I didn’t know it at the time). Abuelo was a doctor and the father of D., a friend of mine in Modi’in. He used to visit Israel from his home in Argentina about twice a year to see his daughter, son-in-law and four grand kids.
Everyone warmly called him “Abuelo,” which means “grandfather” in Spanish, because he was an avuncular, sweet patriarch with a doctor’s calming bedside manner.
This week I went to my hair stylist*, Erez, for a quick haircut around lunch time.
I’ve been a loyal customer since moving to Modi’in, Israel ten years ago. He does a nice job cutting my hair (sadly, there is less hair to work with as time passes) and I enjoy talking to him. After quickly catching up, we started chatting about whether Israel will ever extend its weekend and officially make Sunday a day off.
The Shabbos Project (@ShabbosProject_) is a wonderful idea that is sure to increase simcha (happiness) worldwide. This weekend (the first day of the new month of Cheshvan/October 24-25) Jews in more than 212 cities and 33 countries will experience the joy of observing and celebrating Shabbat (or “Shabbos”). As a Jew who keeps Shabbat on a weekly basis with his family, I’ll try to explain why Shabbat never fails to put a smile on my face.
So, why does Shabbat = simcha?