5 Reasons Why Shabbat = Simcha (Happiness)

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?

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For Happiness, Empty One Pocket

Rabbi Simcha Bunim, may the memory of  the righteous be for a blessing, had a famous oral teaching:

Everyone must have two pockets, with a note in each pocket, so that he or she can reach into the one or the other, depending on the need. When feeling lowly and depressed, discouraged or disconsolate, one should reach into the right pocket, and, there, find the words: “For my sake was the world created.”

But when feeling high and mighty one should reach into the left pocket, and find the words: “I am but dust and ashes.”*

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Starting State (Sad)

I am starting this blog in October 2014 in a state of sadness.

There are so many blessings in my life and don’t get me wrong, I experience many moments of great happiness. And yet I’m all too often unhappy. I have been binge eating in secret to dull my feelings, although I’m not sure how much of a secret it is, because I’m overweight and out of shape (I’m on blood pressure medication at the age of 38).

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One simple Jew's journey to Jewish joy (simcha) via ancient and modern techniques.