Imagine the gratitude to Hashem for giving us life that we express when we lovingly build into every moment the intention to bring into time and space only healing and bracha, that it should be a merit for Klal Yisrael.
Redefining happiness as involvement with what Torah tells us is reality -Torah, Avoda and Gemilus Chesed – requires an upgrade in our will from what we naturally learned is pleasurable through our senses to what Torah tells us is the purpose for which Hashem creates us, to lead His 13 Attributes of mercy into time and space, infusing them through our speech and intention, thereby bringing the natural to a place that can hold holiness.
We want this world, where Hashem hides, to be a world where Hashem can be revealed openly.
The missing ingredient comes from our free will and speech.
Thus what develops as a sense of pleasure naturally in time and space needs to be upgraded to the pleasure of learning Torah, praying fervently to Hashem and emulating HIs 13 Attributes of Mercy.
Taanug, pleasure of the soul, is also above will, but we may not have ever experienced real pleasure of the soul. Instead we experience comfort, satisfaction, gratification, and other things related to the accomplishment of our goals based on will. Yet one thing is beyond refute – this type of happiness does not last and there is no guarantee that what works today will have the same outcome the next time. Why? We are simply not in control of the world. The pleasure that we are intended to receive is inherent in the mitzvahs and in reflecting Hashem’s 13 Attributes of mercy into the world. Developing the ability to experience and cling to Torah, avodah and gemilus Chesed as the greatest of pleasures is a worthwhile pursuit. It requires us to challenge our identity with the pleasures of the native intellect. As long as we think that the goals and pursuits we are engaged to are our essence, we will not be able to upgrade.
Lack puts us in direct contact with the experience of being separated from any pleasure. Yet lack does not have to cause us to think that restoring happiness is in our hands through us doing something to restore it in time and space.
Lack becomes the unstable swirling experience that races our minds towards would be “practical” solutions, actions, speech and deeds. Yet when we have emunah built into our definition of true pleasure something else happens.
We no longer look at what is happening in our lives as the source of happiness. When we let go of longstanding beliefs that we would be happy if he did this, or she did that, or if I had or if they did, we begin to comprehend something that leads us to real attainment of pleasure and fulfillment of the purpose for which Hashem designs us – to affect the very foundation of the world by adding into our natural reactions the utterly calm recognition of Hashem’s Presence and that He is at all times merciful, kind and just. No matter what.
We are now propelled to declare His Oneness, Hashem Echad, knowing that doing so adds light into the world bolstered by the powerfully appearing elements of water and fire that were just a moment before generating unstable swirling experience within us. We move from racing minds to consciousness to rectify. We are empowered to effect something in the world beyond our ability to understand or control merely by Hashem orchestrating every detail of the props and senses He gives us to stimulate the natural unstable swirling experience as the object to which we can apply free will and infuse menuchas hanefesh by saying Hashem Echad, I only want everything within me to generate healing and bracha and to be a merit for Klal Yisrael.
This is 100 percent in our control and improves and corrects our primal will and all our unrefined characteristics.
Hashem is real and vital and when we express our trust and utter love for Hashem and gratitude to Him for every prop in our life and every amazing miracle He performs to give us life and comforts by doing His Will for which He creates the world, we also accept that everything that He does is the greatest mercy, kindness and justice. We just keep rechanneling any doubts or negative emotions towards drawing in healing and brachas by declaring Hashem Echad with the utterly calm recognition of HIs existence. We are constantly able to produce spiritual nourishment and it is only those who keep Torah in time and space who are able to so produce to the full extent of Hashem’s vision, for the Torah tells us His Will.
Let us bring Hashem the delicacies He loves, and let us challenge with questions such as “is this happiness?” our longstanding beliefs and pursuits. Happiness is the soul’s experience of being involved with learning Torah, fervent prayer and emulating HIs 13 attributes of mercy (tolerating insults, overlooking faults, bearing the burden of confusion of mind, forgiving and casting sins in the sea.) The mistake we make in happiness is the confusion of thinking that we are what is happening around us. We are our choice to give Hashem nachas in every moment and fulfill His Will and say Hashem Echad, infusing the natural with the missiing ingredient of menuchas hanefesh through which the natural that hides Hashem can become a divine space in which He is revealed, may it be today.