Jacob traveled to Charan. Charan made Detroit look like Putney, Vermont. It was a rough place. Like Vegas but with more slot machines, like New York, but with more aggression, like Washington D.C. but with more corruption.

To make matters worse, Jacob lived in his uncle's house. His uncle made John Gotti look like a saint. Get the picture? Yet the Midrash says that Jacob sang certain psalms (120-134) throughout the 20 years he lived there.

Does that make sense? Jacob was in a precarious position, in an unfriendly and disgusting city, and he walks around as if he is starring in a Broadway musical?

Jacob was in a precarious position, and he walks around as if he is starring in a Broadway musical?Jacob was in a difficult moment in his life. He, himself would have been the first to admit it, but he refused to get depressed or lose hope. He recognized that G‑d's hand had guided him there. He knew he was in Charan for a purpose and upon completion of that goal, he would return home.

Therefore, even during the challenging moments in Charan he remained joyous, for he knew he was where he needed to be, doing what had to be done—and he was right. Twenty years later he left Charan with his entire family and quite a bit of gelt. Retroactively, he proved that all of his singing was justified and not the outgrowth of a bipolar disorder.

The world right now is a tough place to be. Anyone who can't see the problems should cut down on their meds. You don't have to be a bleeding heart liberal to recognize the issues in yourselves, your towns, and society at large.

That having been said, we can and should follow Jacob's example. Jacob didn't roll up on his psychologist's leather couch to discuss his issues. He didn't create some random blog to muse and ramble about his problems. He recognized his purpose in Charan and worked towards actualizing his goals—and he did so with joy.