Choose to Be Happy

The Blessing of Freedom of Choice

We recite the Morning Blessings every day. One of the Berakhot is “Asher Natan LaShechvi Bina Lehavchin ben Yom uben Layla” – We bless G-d that he gave the rooster the ability to distinguish between day and night. We thank G-d that rooster wakes us up in the morning. In the Chumash of Rabbi Eli Munk he brings the Chidushei HaRim. He says that the word Shechvi – can also mean the heart of man.

Thus the blessing’s meaning becomes “We bless G-d that he gave the heart of man the ability to distinguish between day and night.” We thus thank G-d for giving us freedom of choice daily. Freedom to choose between day – which is an allegory to doing Good. And the freedom to choose night –  an allegory to evil.

Choose Life

In this week’s parasha / Torah reading – Re’eh Hash-m says – See that I place before you a blessing and a curse. The Blessing that you observe the Mitzvot / Commandments …

Why does it say The blessing that you observe the Mitzvot. It should say the blessing if you observe the mitzvot? It’s teaching that not only do we get blessing by observing Torah and mitzvot – but the Torah & Mitzvot are a blessing in itself.

When we observe Shabbat – it is a blessing to spend time with family and connect with Hash-m and community.

See the Good in Life

We just have to see it. So we can see that everything I present before you is a blessing – we choose to view it as a blessing or a curse. It is our freedom of choice.

Choose to Be Happy

We can view the good in every situation or the opposite it is our choice. Like it says in pirkei avot – who is the wealthy person? the person who is happy with his lot. It is not our situation that makes us happy but our choice. We choose to be happy.

What makes us Happy

In Shir HaShirim / Song of Songs – written by Shlomo Hamelech – it says Yishakeini MeNishikot Pihu – ki tovim dodecha miyayin.” – Kiss me with the Kisses of Your Mouth for your love is better than wine.

The Vilna Gaon says The kisses are the 2 commandments we heard directly from Hash-m. Anochi / “I am Hash-m..” Implanted the Torah in our hearts. “Lo Yehiye” / “Do not have any gods aside Me…” – removed the evil inclination from us.

Spiritual vs. Material Pleasure

When we learn Torah we receive this love. More than that – it is saying that Hash-m’s love is greater than wine. Meaning that Spiritual pleasure – being close to Hash-m through Torah – gives us greater pleasure than wine – material pleasure.

Why is this – because our essence is a soul. The soul does not gain pleasure from the physical world (except for aromas) – but it gains pleasure from the closeness to Hash-m. Thus – when we do good – and Hash-m is “close to us” we are happy. When we do the opposite – Hash-m “distances” Himself and thus it gives the soul sadness.

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