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Three Short Thoughts on Becoming Happier

January 22, 2022 11:31 PM

Dear Reader,

I recently received a question from a reader in which she wrote: “I find it very difficult to be happy … “

What an important question! It actually made me smile. :-) We all want to be happy and are always looking to discover this elusive happiness. Yet most of us are left still looking, never really discovering and maintaining our happiness.

So here are three really short thoughts on how to find more happiness in our life.

1. Recognize It’s All Exactly as It’s Meant to Be

The rabbis question: “Who is wealthy?” And they answer, “One who is happy and content with his lot” (Avot 4: 1).

Being content and happy with ourselves and our circumstances means realizing that there is a Boss in our world who is running it exactly how it’s meant to be. Everything that happens to us, and any circumstances in our life, is exactly how it should be, and will foster the circumstances and journey tailor made for our soul’s growth and development.

It can sometimes be a bitter pill to swallow when we don’t understand how a struggle or hardship is for the best. But if we really internalize this idea, it can be a tremendous comfort and great source of happiness. Though we may not see it as such and may not truly feel that what is happening to us is for our good, in essence, we don’t lack anything, and the Infinite G‑d who is so full of compassion wants only what is beneficial for us.

2. Focus on Another Person

If you find yourself constantly evaluating whether or not you are happy, chances are you won’t be. It’s far better to get busy with helping others—and there are so many others who can use our help.

Bonus points if you can choose to reach out to another in an area that you have a talent or a personal enjoyment. Do you like to bake or cook? Drop off something for someone who is ill or would appreciate your treats. If you like to hike in nature, suggest it to a friend who is feeling down or alone.

Your concentration will no longer be on yourself. Surprisingly, the more you do for others, the more you will find yourself feeling so much happier.

3. Act Happy

One last idea: Act happy, even if it’s not real—even if, at first, it feels like an act. The more you act happy, the more you will find that it has an impact on your frame of mind. You will no longer feel unhappy, but your act will actually become you.

So smile. Laugh. Do things that bring you happiness. Get busy helping others. And feel grateful for the beautiful life that your Creator has given you!

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of six books. Her latest book, Shabbat Delights, is a two-volume series on the weekly Torah portion.

It’s Our 16th Birthday!

January 17, 2022 12:43 AM

Dear Reader,

Thirty-four years ago, shortly after the passing of his life partner and soulmate, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, and in her honor, the Rebbe asked that each of us celebrate our birthdays.

Why is a birthday celebrated?

The day you were born is the day that G‑d said, YOU are needed in My world; YOU are important to Me! Your talents and abilities are necessary to fix your specific corner of the world.

However, along with that, the Rebbe taught us to ponder: What have I accomplished by being here? Did the world change because of me? Did I have any impact on others? What more can I do?

TheJewishWoman.org was born 16 years ago today, on the 22nd of Shevat in honor of the yahrtzeit of the Rebbetzin, who lived a life completely devoted to others. Though precious little is known about her due to her fervent desire not to have attention drawn to herself, her selfless dedication, sacrifice and love for the Jewish people is legendary.

TheJewishwoman.org has had an incredible 16 years of rapid growth as a website. But theJewishWoman.org is so much more than just a site. We are an all-inclusive community and online home for women, empowering women to find their unique voices through learning and education, inspiration and life experiences, and practical tips and advice.

On our birthday, it is our time to ask: What more can we do? How can we make a bigger impact?

Our world has changed so much over the last couple of years with the pandemic. We’ve come to recognize how important it is for us to find ways to connect with one another—whether in person, through a phone call, or virtually.

On a Jewish birthday, it’s customary to get together with family and friends to celebrate. And so, we turn to you, our dear readers, and ask you to help us reach even more women.

Share with us what you like about TheJewishWoman.org and what you would like to see on our site. Have we made an impact on your life? How can we improve?

Do you use social media? Please visit us and like us on our Facebook page. Are you signed up to receive our free emails, full of interesting articles and inspiring lessons? Do you have friends or family members who would appreciate receiving our inspiration? Please share it with them.

We invite you to celebrate our birthday with us. Help us become an even bigger and better home for every Jewish woman across the globe!

And, on this special day of the Rebbetzin’s yahrtzeit, as we celebrate the Rebbetzin’s life, and the life lessons and insight that she and the Rebbe granted us, perhaps there is a special resolution that you’d like to take on?

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW

P.S. We really do love to hear from you, so let us know how TheJewishWoman.org is a part of your life.

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of six books. Her latest book, Shabbat Delights, is a two-volume series on the weekly Torah portion.

A Special Love for Special Children

January 5, 2022 11:49 PM

Dear Readers,

Rabbi Dovid Edelman, ob’m, was a devoted emissary in Springfield, Mass., for many years. In the 1940s, he was a young man studying in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. This was during the lifetime of the Frierdiker Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, well before the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, his son-in-law—assumed leadership over the Chabad-Lubavitch movement.

Once Dovid was standing with friends near the hallway of the “770” building when Rabbi Menachem Mendel emerged from the elevator, coming down from his father-in-law’s residence. Rabbi Menachem Mendel turned to the young men and asked them in Yiddish if they wanted to hear a frishe vort, a fresh insight that he had just heard from the Frierdiker Rebbe.

He explained that in his work for Chabad-Lubavitch, all kinds of people came to visit him in his office, some of them unobservant Jews, very alienated from Torah and mitzvot. Nevertheless, he greeted every person friendly, without reproaching them. Rabbi Menachem Mendel asked for guidance from the Frierdiker Rebbe if he was acting correctly.

The Frierdiker Rebbe told him that G‑d created the world in such a manner that parents love their children. Even a parent of a large family will have room in his heart to find love for each of his children. But if a parent has a child who has a physical handicap, the parent will extend themselves even more to actualize the child’s full potential. Though the parent’s essential love is the same for all his children, a unique, out-of-the-ordinary, intense (in Yiddish, he said umartike) love is revealed for this special child, and will be felt through his efforts.

Similarly, responded Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak to his son-in-law, if a Jew comes into your office who through no fault of his own is spiritually handicapped, you need to extend yourself even more. The more he is lacking, the more you must demonstrate even greater love.

Fast-forward almost a century later: At the call of the Rebbe, Chabad emissaries live in remote corners around the world, warming up the hearts of even the most far-flung Jews. In turn, we draw closer to G‑d, by extending ourselves to His beloved children.

But this teaching is illuminating as well for our attitudes to one another, even on an interpersonal level.

Every person is a child of G‑d. Some of us need greater attention, love or sensitivity. This can be due to a physical, emotional or spiritual struggle that we are battling. It can be due to a trauma or challenge that we have experienced in our lives, or an inborn character trait or condition. Rather than being turned off by the struggle, we can emulate G‑d in His attitude towards all His “special” children, by revealing within us a special, extraordinary love.

Because the more someone is lacking, the more they need our love.

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of six books. Her latest book, Shabbat Delights, is a two-volume series on the weekly Torah portion.
Often we need a break from our daily routine. A pause from life to help us appreciate life.

A little pat on the back to let us know when we're on track. A word of encouragement to help us through those bleak moments and difficult days.

Sometimes, we just yearn for some friendship and camaraderie, someone to share our heart with. And sometimes we need a little direction from someone who's been there.

So, take a short pause from the busyness of your day and join Chana Weisberg for a cup of coffee.

Chana Weisberg is the editor of TheJewishWoman.org. She lectures internationally on issues relating to women, relationships, meaning, self-esteem and the Jewish soul. She is the author of six books. Her latest book, Shabbat Delights, is a two-volume series on the weekly Torah portion.
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