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Editor's Note: The Secret Key to Happiness

Dear Friend,

“When Adar arrives, we increase in joy,” say the sages regarding the Jewish month we are about to enter.

Whenever people see a kid with a long face, they look at him with concern and ask: “What happened? Is everything OK?” We expect children to be happy. On the other hand, when we see an adult grinning in middle of the day, we ask with concern: “What happened? Is everything OK?” We assume that normal adults are serious.

This makes sense when we consider the serious burdens most adults carry: mortgages, health matters, car repairs, complicated family dynamics . . . the list goes on. Children are happy because they don’t (or shouldn’t) have these worries.

So how is an adult to be happy?

Here’s an exercise. When you wake up tomorrow, even before you hop out of bed, say the Modeh Ani prayer: “I offer thanks to You, living and eternal King, for You have mercifully restored my soul within me; Your faithfulness is great.”

Say the words slowly. Think to yourself: The Creator of the world believes in me, cares about me and has restored my soul.

This isn’t going to pay the mortgage, and it may not even turn your boss into a mensch, but it will bring you the greatest joy of all: the knowledge that Someone Above cares about you deeply.

Wishing you a happy month!

Rabbi Mendy Kaminker
on behalf of the Editorial team

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Just like in the case of two people who are wrestling... if one of them moves with sloth and lethargy, he will be easily defeated and felled, even if he is stronger than his fellow; so, too, in battling one's evil inclination, one can prevail over it ... only with alacrity that comes from joy and from a heart that is free and cleansed from every trace of worry and sadness...
— Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi