Outside observers could reasonably conclude that Israel is a miserable country. International news reports tend to focus solely on the Middle Eastern conflict and acts of terror, while BDS protesters try to convince the world that Israelis are evil oppressors.
And yet Israel ranked 11th in the UN’s 2016 World Happiness Report (above even the U.S.). This corresponds with my own daily reality, as I observe many cheerful and enthusiastic Israelis during my daily routine. For Israel’s 68th birthday (Yom Ha’atzmaut) it’s worthy asking: why are Israelis so happy?
Continue reading 8 Reasons Israelis are So Happy (Yom Ha’atzmaut 2016)
One of the number one things most of us will be praying for on Rosh HaShana, the Jewish New Year, is happiness. Jewish joy (simcha) is the nectar that will enable us to have a sweet New Year.
But it’s not as easy as merely requesting happiness from G-d. We have to work hard and partner with G-d to advance spiritually. And the first step is a technique called “cheshbon hanefesh,” or “an accounting of the soul.”
Continue reading Crucial Practice for Post-Rosh HaShana Happiness
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.
Continue reading Byron Katie’s Secret
Sometimes the road to simcha (Jewish happiness) is a “Rocky” one:
Writing this blog is great and I’m learning new things every day and improving, but I don’t want to act like I’m always happy, or that I have all the answers.
Continue reading Perseverance is Key to Happiness
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