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).
Continue reading How Can We Be Happy After a Terror Attack?
I just failed another “lunchtime challenge.” A few months ago, I started working full-time at an organization that doesn’t have a cafeteria. Our building is surrounded by restaurants, so most employees head downstairs to grab a bite.
It sounds simple enough, unless you are a person who struggles with binge eating. I start obsessively thinking about what I am going to eat almost immediately upon arriving at work. I tell myself, “Today will be different,” but more often than not, I order fatty, unhealthy food in large quantities. Because I’m embarrassed about my terrible habits, I usually eat alone, in my office.
Continue reading Disordered Eating Blocks My Spirituality
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.
Continue reading My Hair Stylist’s View on Kids, Technology and Shabbat
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.
Continue reading Does Writing a Blog Make You Happier?
In the Land of Israel, it is possible to draw the joy of holiness from the site of joy itself. – Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel
Normally you wouldn’t expect a blog about simcha (Jewish joy) to focus on a recent passing. But the death of Keith Berman (z’l), whom I had the pleasure of working for when he was the director of the Young Judaea/FZY Year Course in Israel, is relevant to this blog because I saw firsthand how much joy he brought into the world.
Continue reading Keith Berman’s (z’l) Passing
After deciding to start my current search for simcha (Jewish joy) on Hoshana Rabbah, one of the first things I did that morning was immerse myself in one of the local mikvehs. Hoshana Rabbah is the day when the judgment process that has started on Rosh HaShana is sealed, and I wanted to feel spiritually pure.
Continue reading A Happiness Visualization for the Mikveh