Sorry I haven’t posted to Seeking Simcha in a few months…I fell.
Things were going well for me during my journey towards simcha (Jewish happiness). I was losing weight, meditating and working towards Shalom Bayit (greater peace at home).
But then I started getting stressed and very busy at my high-tech job, triggering a pattern of dysfunctional eating (something I have struggled with in the past). I began binging at restaurants and eating until I literally felt sick.
Continue reading I Fell…
One of my big challenges for this year is to be more patient with my children.
One of my kids is a wonderful boy with a sweet streak, but he is also extremely energetic and impulsive. I start every day striving to be patient, but too often I get frustrated with his behavior and start nagging/punishing.
Continue reading #MeditationMonday – Hebrew Meditation for Patience
Rabbi Gideon Weitzman, the rabbi of my shul/beit knesset in Modi’in, recently published an excellent book entitled, His Words, Their Voices: Essays on the Haftarot.
In his essay on the specific Haftarah (a section of the book of Prophets) that is read communally on the second day of Rosh HaShana, Rabbi Weitzman struck a chord with me by writing about the “playful child.”
Continue reading The “Playful Child” on Rosh HaShana
Exactly fourteen years ago (according to the Jewish calendar), I asked Neetz if she wanted to officially be my girlfriend. She said “yes” and all these years later we have three kids, a wonderful home and countless funny stories.
Maybe part of our success has resulted from the fact that our romance began on Tu B’Av, a magical Jewish holiday of love and happiness.
Continue reading Tu B’Av: Jewish Day of Love and Happiness
In late May, I decided to get serious about improving my health. Since then, I’ve lost 20 pounds (9 kilos) and feel MUCH better. Six relatively easy steps have helped me transition to a healthier lifestyle.
Continue reading Six Ways I Lost 20 Pounds
My father isn’t particularly religiously observant. But this Father’s Day I am thinking about something he said over and over to my siblings and me during our childhood that has profoundly affected how I practice Judaism and live my life.
Continue reading A Jewish Father’s Important Catchphrase on Father’s Day
This Mother’s Day I am reminded of all the happiness lessons I learned from my Jewish mother.
1. Be friendly and nice: as a kid, I would get annoyed when my mother would stop and chat with what seemed like every person in line at the supermarket check-out. Of course as I matured, I realized how much more pleasant the world would be if everyone gave other people the feeling that they matter.
Continue reading A Jewish Mother’s 5 Happiness Lessons
We all figuratively wear masks, at least occasionally, to hide our true identities. Some of us put on a mask at work. Others wear a mask in their communities, or even with their families. We are so scared that people will catch a glimpse of our authentic, vulnerable selves, and then reject us. It seems easier to wear a fake exterior, like armor.
It is a custom to dress up and wear masks during the upcoming holiday, Purim. When you think about it, in our everyday lives wearing a mask and hiding our authentic selves can be harmful. But in some instances, especially concerning happiness, putting on a mask can be helpful. We can call this “the duality of the Purim mask”…
Continue reading Duality of the Purim Mask
The Talmud contains a fascinating story about an act that is apparently so important and noble that it GUARANTEES the one who performs it a spot in the World to Come (Heaven).
Which singular action could be so powerful and meaningful? Does a Jew have to donate major sums of his money to earn his place in the Next World? Does he have to learn Torah 18 hours a day?
Continue reading G-d Bless the Comedians
Everyone said it would be difficult to raise kids within the framework of a “mixed marriage” and they were right. After a decade of marriage and the birth of three cute kids, my Jewish–Israeli wife would be the first to tell you that married life in Israel with a Jewish-American husband hasn’t always been as smooth as Philadelphia cream cheese on a delicious whole wheat bagel (and she would never use such an American metaphor).
Continue reading Four “Mixed Marriage” Parenting Rules