Everyone wants to be happy, and everyone pursues happiness. What are the basic rules to reach out and gain that happiness?
In our Parasha Ki Tavo, it is written “And it shall be that you will come to the land which the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance and you will inherit it and you will dwell in it”. The recognition that G-d is the landlord who gave us the land of Israel, as his inheritance and allowing us to permanently live in it, are the causes of happiness and deep joy.
The suggested understanding of the matter is that one of the fundamental things about the development and the stability of joy and happiness is the feeling and the recognition that the person stays in his own place. That sense of belonging and constancy brings the peace of mind, both physically and mentally, that we all yearn for.
On the other hand, the recognition that the place where man is, IS the place that God has given you, and therefore it must be the right place for you, and the toil and content feeling we invest in that place, create the intended place, as a place of inheritance from God.
The Joy of giving – The most striking thing is that joy appears from giving.
The Torah asks us to practice a very strange Mitzvah, when we come to the land of Israel and we plant fruit trees, we have to train our “muscle” of giving which is the key to happiness, especially in the place that God gave us, the land of Israel.
After years of trouble and investment, when the farmer wants to enjoy the fruit that the tree yields, he must overcome himself, and give the fruit as a gift to another person, to the Cohen. He has to share with strangers the fruit of his land, and it is not merely the fruit of the land, but it is the First fruit! The feeling of excitement for seeing the first product should be channeled by giving the product to the person who is in charge of the spiritual continuity of the nation, the Cohen, the Priest.
Thanks to the overcoming of all the basic selfishness in man, and the power to share with another person what is yours and yours alone, the Torah promises the giver that he will be blessed with all the good that exists. Because the act of giving causes a person to experience a supreme level of spirituality, and doing good deeds adds meaning and value to our lives.
In the next week we’ll all being around the Shofar asking God for a great year of health, abundance, and happiness. The key to having those blessings is by sharing and giving to the place that makes all the investments and efforts, to create a sense of belonging for you and your family. To the place where the leaders on the board are giving hours and hours of their valuable time to make sure the continuity and the uniqueness of the Sephardic Judaism middle of the road, that the Sephardic Temple is promoting.
This is your time to open your heart as well as your pocket to share and donate.
By giving, sharing and donating, you’ll increase your spiritual level of happiness and will be inscribed for a wonderful and sweet year. Amen
Rabbi Refael Cohen