Parshat Ki Tavo: look at yourself!

We always knew that happiness enhances your quality of life. But did you know that not being happy is a sin?

The Torah gives us a list of curses and ends off by telling us what sins cause them.

(תחת אשר לא עבדת את ה’ אלוק’ך בשמחה ובטוב לבב מרב כל (דברים כ”ח: מ”ז

‘Because you did not serve Hashem, your God, amid gladness and goodness of heart, when everything was abundant’ (Deuteronomy chapter 26, verse 47)

According to this literal translation, the simple understanding is that G-D brought hard times upon you when He saw that we took His blessings for granted during the good times.

The Ohr Somayach has his own interpretation of the verse:

‘Because you did not serve Hashem, your God, amid gladness and goodness of heart, from seeing another person for whom everything was abundant

The problems in life come when one looks over one’s shoulder at other’s successes.

A man once came to his rabbi with a tale of woe. His business had thrived for several years. A year ago, a new competitor had opened shop nearby. Since then, the man’s sales had dropped drastically, while the new shop stole it’s success.

The rabbi looked at him and smiled. “I’m not surprised you’re doing so badly. You have your head in two businesses at once!”

Happiness is a state of mind that we can all get to, a choice we can all make. How? By focusing on our own blessings.

(As heard from Rabbi Chaim Rosenfeld. Hear the original lecture here)

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