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Meditations on Joy

Meditations on Joy

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''Tantz'' by Chassidic artist <a href=''/article.asp?aid=243679'' target=''_blank''>Shoshannah Brombacher</a> © 2004
"Tantz" by Chassidic artist Shoshannah Brombacher © 2004

Joy is an overflowing, an explosion. Something enters a person's life for which he could never be prepared and his previously tidy self erupts in song, dance and joy.

Approach the Divine with a calculated mind and there is no window for joy. Embrace the infinite beyond mind and let joy surprise you.


There are many kinds of barriers: Those from within and those from without. Barriers between people. Barriers that prevent you from doing good things. Barriers of your own mind and your own hesitations. There are the barriers that exist simply because you are a limited being.

Joy breaks through all barriers.


People are afraid of joy. They are afraid they'll get out of hand and lose control.

These people haven't experienced real joy — the joy that comes from doing something G‑dly and beautiful with all your heart. The fact is, there is nothing that will lift you higher. Where there is that joy, the Divine Presence can enter. Where there is that joy, there are no pits to fall into, and all obstacles evaporate into thin air.


The beginning of all paths and the foundation of all ascents is to open yourself to receive from Above.

And how do you receive from Above? By being empty — because a full vessel cannot receive, while an empty vessel has a hollow to be filled.

That is why we must run from depression; because a depressed person is so filled with his own self-pity, there is no room left to receive anything, no opening for life to enter.

But a humble, open spirit is vibrant with joy.


True happiness is the highest form of self-sacrifice. There, in that state, there is no sense of self —not even awareness that you are happy. True happiness is somewhere beyond "knowing". Beyond self.

All the more so when you bring joy to others.

From the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; rendered by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman. To order the Daily Thoughts in book form, click here.
Image by chassidic artist Shoshannah Brombacher. To view or purchase Ms. Brombacher’s art, click here.
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Mrs. Beatriz Reis April 3, 2012

...fear of joy, fear of loosing control...being empty to receive from Above... so true, really good insights, but you made my day with "true happiness is the highest form of self-sacrifice." That is awesome.
Thanks Rabbi. Reply

Anonymous St George, UT September 6, 2011

Joy and Depression I know that depression is a polar opposite of joy. Sure, joy is more desirable...but am I a bad person for struggling with depression? Reply

Miss Judith Witten January 21, 2011

Joy is Stronger Joy is Stronger than a Jellyfish sting. Running from the opposite of Joy is...deep, dark Depression..ohhhh...Running back to others..sort of like a relay race is...love...thats' a Conundrum because its got all the candy in the bag and I'm diabetic.. Reply

Ray Phillips Springfield, OR March 9, 2007

Joy If I may suggest a correction.

The comment was made that we can not recieve joy from heaven because a full vessel is too full to accept more.

However, the real problem is that we are looking for the wrong kind of joy. The joy that comes from heaven comes when we let heavens love flow through us. We must be a conduit, not a vessel. If we plug up and do not allow God's love to flow out to others, we are cutting off the supply to ourselves. For God's love must reach back to God and out to others to even exist in our lives. The heavenly joy is a result of being that condit where heavn pours its love into our lives and we return it and share it with others. Any other "joy" is a counterfeit.

Otherwise the comments were good. Reply

Anonymous Birmingham, Alabama February 20, 2007

It seems that joy flows to us during times when we make a connection with G-d through the mundane things. It seems that true happiness is released to us during times when we are not aware. It is like an anonymous deposit placed in our spiritual bank account that is to withdrawn when needed or sometimes seemingly for no reason at all. I have had experiences in my life that should have made me depressed or sad, but instead I experienced joy, joy that come from above. There have been times when I felt that my being was stretched to the breaking point and instead of breaking, I had joy. It is unexplainable. Is a gift from G-d to be cherished. Understanding that He loves me unconditionally and has my best interest at heart brings peace in times of trouble. Understanding allows me to see beyond myself and experience joy. Reply

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