Our next guest blogger is Heather Weiser, the education director at Congregation Kneseth Israel. Her post is interesting because it links happiness/joy with rich, osher. The Ashrei prayer does this as well. She and I are happiest (is it joy?) sitting at Panera solving all the problems of the world while drinking ice tea. We both hope for the day when everyone can live contented with their lot and when everyone can live under their vine and fig tree and none will make them afraid.
“Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot” —Pirkei Avot 4:1
When Rabbi Margaret asked me to write about Joy, I had to stop and think, ”What is joy? Who is full of joy?” So now, I ponder this while sitting my back yard with 3 dogs, and ice tea, and my laptop.
My go to book these days is Visions of the Fathers/Pirkei Avot. Pirkei Avot, which translates to English as Chapters of the Fathers, is a compilation of the ethical teachings and maxims of the Rabbis of the Mishnaic period.
While this book focuses on “big ideas,” of Michaniac times, almost everything is relevant today.
I work with lots of children, families, and parents. For the most part, all of them are happy.
For the sake of this for Rabbi Margaret, I am using a verse from Pirkei Avot 4:1. “Who is rich? He who is happy with his lot” I am using rich as a synonym for joy.
We have all heard, the grass is always greener…but stop and be happy with your grass. Be happy with what you have worked hard for and earned. Resist the urge long for something more.
Living in the digital age, where social media is the norm, everyone shows off. We are inundated with who just got the newest iPhone, who is on the most extravagant vacation, or who has the “best” child.
This often causes stress and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). You begin to think that what you have isn’t enough. You aren’t happy. There is something better out there! Stop, appreciate the little things in life, set goals for yourself, and appreciate what is you have.
I will now return to my peach iced tea, 3 mixed breed dogs, and the toy that somehow made it outside!