Our Sages have taught us: “Jealousy (kin’ah), lust (taavah), and honor (kavod) remove a man from this world” (Avos 4:28). The world, as Hashem created it, is a happy one. It is we who have removed ourselves from the world of happiness to the world of suffering by means of these three evil desires.
For example, when one feels someone acted in a manner that seems appalling, it is often due to his honor being ruffled. This leads people to engage in long-lasting vendettas against others whom they think have infringed on their honor. Holding a grudge can be very harmful to one’s physical and mental health and does not allow one to be b’simchah.
Simchah is an inner joy, contentment, and peace of mind, which is the direct result of spiritual growth, movement, and connection to Hashem. There is no happiness in the world of material things; there is only happiness in spiritual concerns. The one who enjoys a rich spiritual life is truly happy.
One can begin to feel b’simchah once the following three things are in place:
He has a personal connection to Hashem. The person maintains a strong connection to Hashem particularly when things are hard, unclear, uncertain, or painful. This can only happen if he understands and believes that Hashem loves him, that everything he experiences is from Hashem, and that there is some good (whether hidden or revealed) in each and every situation and place that the person finds himself in.
He knows what his purpose is in life. In other words, he knows where he is going. This means a few things: He is connected to the Torah and thus knows what Hashem expects of him in most situations (and even if he doesn’t know, he knows where to find out). He is in touch with his strengths and weaknesses. He understands the nature of growth – that it includes ups and downs, periods of giving and receiving, moving and resting. He knows that he has a unique mission in the world that only he can fulfill. He may not know how or when (or if) he will get to that point, or even what it will look like when he is there. Yet, he is patient and courageous, pushing himself to keep moving forward even when the path ahead of him is full of roadblocks, regressions, and unexpected detours.
He surrounds himself with the right people. This includes a connection to a rebbe or a rav whom he can turn to for guidance, as well as friends and neighbors who are also working on themselves and their relationship with Hashem at their level.
Material was previously published on ShiratMiriam.com.
List of People Who Need a r’fuah sh’leimah (a complete recovery)
Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.
Yonasan ben Sigalit
David ben Sarah
Yaakov ben Simchah
Eliyahu ben Margalit
Yitzchak ben Mazal
Yitzchak Chaim ben Sarah
Yosef ben Nosrat
Moshe ben Mazal
Mordechai ben Chanah
Shlomo ben Miriam
Yosef ben Renee
Nesanel ben Miriam
Fredel bas Hendil
Rachel Leah bas Esther
Adele bas Sarah
Ava bas Ilana Esther
Sonia bas Rachel
Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas
Ruchama Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel
Esther Hadasah bas Devorah
Ora bas Naomi
Miriam bas Rivkah
Elka Rachel bas Sarah Malkah
Lielle bas Esther
Blume bas Esthel Rivkah
Tziporah bas Fruma