Tag Archives: happiness

Does the Bible Stay Out of the Constitution? Should It?

Getty Images / found at cnn.com/2013/10/31/us/u-s-constitution-fast-facts/index.html

‘Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the Lord your God.

‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God; I am the Lord.

‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired worker are not to remain with you all night until morning. You shall not curse a person who is deaf, nor put a stumbling block before a person who is blind, but you shall revere your God; I am the Lord.

‘You shall not do injustice in judgment; you shall not show partiality to the poor nor give preference to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people; and you are not to jeopardize the life of your neighbor. I am the Lord.

‘You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may certainly rebuke your neighbor, but you are not to incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor hold any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:9-18 (NASB)

Believe it or not, the Pastor at the little Lutheran church I take my elderly Mom to actually preached on this one today. He did compare Leviticus to a road in the desert, not being particularly interesting or worthwhile, which I didn’t appreciate, but then Christian Pastors don’t really study Torah.

Continue reading Does the Bible Stay Out of the Constitution? Should It?

The Happiness Mitzvah

Judaism’s most famous slogan is the Shema: “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” More than just a prayer, it’s a reminder of the very high purpose of life.
Here’s some more Jewish slogans:

“It’s a mitzvah to always be happy.”
“The external affects the internal.”
“The world stands on Torah, prayer, and kindness.”
“Everything happens for the good.” (“Gam zu l’tova.”)
“God is good.”
“God loves me.”

To increase your focus in life, try saying these things … out loud … over and over.

-Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of blessed memory
“Way #3: Say It Out Loud”
from the “48 Ways to Wisdom” series

Last week, I dedicated all of my blog posts to uplifting and encouraging topics. While I am now “free” to write about a wider range of subjects, I still think it’s important to offer supportive and inspirational missives to whoever happens by my blog, so I’m creating today’s “extra meditation” with that in mind.

Living in a broken world isn’t always easy and being a person of faith can add to the struggle. It’s important to remember that we are not alone. We have each other and we have God. According to Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, the Rebbe once said to a Jewish activist in a dangerous Arab land, “Strengthen your awe of heaven and you will diminish your fear of human beings.” That is like a very similar piece of advice from a much older source:

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. –Matthew 10:28-31 (ESV)

Somewhere in the teachings of the Master are not just lessons on how to quell our fears, but words that show us how to summon peace and joy. If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you know that much of the time, peace and joy elude me as I ponder not only the great mystery of God but the mystery of my one small life. And yet, I’m learning that if I temporarily put that aside, I can create a small bridge between the person I am and the one God created me to be.

Life is what it is. It’s not easy. It can be full of pain and trouble. We want and even beg God to fix our world so we don’t have to suffer.

He hasn’t done it yet. Someday, we know He will. Messiah will come. Jesus will return. In the meantime, we must remember that we have a “very high purpose of life.”

God is One.

God is good.

God loves me.

He loves you, too. He loves us all.