Happiness – under the hood?

My house is quiet. I’ve been up since six on a Sunday morning. Coffee by the fireplace and a chance to think quietly.

I started teaching a course on happiness last Wed. One thing became immediately apparent to me. Talk to a group of fifteen people about happiness and you will hear fifteen different takes.

So what is happiness?

The jury is still out regarding describing someone as a “happy person.” Though it’s clear that there are indeed people like that, I think a more nuanced definition would be more relevant to the majority of people.

It doesn’t seem like happiness is like a factory setting in a car – one that we all come pre – equipped with…..if anything it’s more like a destination that we would need to drive to in said car.

If that’s the case then my drive toward happiness this morning was a blessedly short one, leaving me to wonder if this metaphor is even true.

Perhaps we ARE pre – wired for happiness, and like the heat or the AC – need to merely activate and turn on a built in feature.

Ahhhh then the question is, where is this elusive happiness button? And if it’s so easy to find and turn on then why aren’t we all rushing to do so?

I will pick up this “Talmudic” thread on Wed but till then I wish you all a Shavua Tov.

Hmmm.. Shavua Tov (good week ) ….? Not Shavua Sameach (happy week ) ???

Let’s talk


About the Author
Rabbi Yossi Lipsker is the co-founder and executive Director of Chabad of the North Shore and spiritual leader of the Chabad Community Shul. He can be reached at