Shlomo Ezagui

The Keys to Happiness and Sukkot.

Irina Uzv

One would think that happiness is a predictable outcome of genes and circumstances. Someone whose family is blessed with health and wealth should be happy, whereas someone who endures hardship, bad health, or difficulty making a living should not be happy.

However, this is not the case.

Some people have it all, every reason to be content with life, yet still, they are not happy. Others who have nothing are always happy. One, always sees the cup half full, the good side and the blessings, and minimizes the emptier half. This person accustoms himself to see the points of light in everything and, therefore, always feels things are good, which is a blessing for him. The other person with a sour face always sees the darkness and focuses on what is lacking.

Being happy takes practice and is not a categorically natural trait; it depends entirely on the person. He who decides to see in everything the full cup — to be happy with his lot and always to be brimming with gratitude to God for all the beautiful things like children, grandchildren, health, livelihood, the sunrise, and the sunset — can and will be happy in his life.

The most vital foundation and pillar of this approach to life is in one’s faith. A person’s faith in God, who created and runs the world, must be fed with supportive thoughts, believing that all God does is perfect and motivated only by kindness. Whether he misses the bus or someone in his life is unwell, he does not allow worry to bring him down because he is filled with faith and trusts that everything will turn out for good and better yet, the person with faith believes and knows that at this moment all is for the good. This faith helps the person through hardships and acts as the juice for inner happiness and peace.

Happiness, joy, and dancing are sometimes spontaneous. Happiness is primarily dependent upon the person himself. You can decide to be happy and intentionally give yourself the reasons to be happy or remain in sadness and depression.

Joy MUST have a spiritual element to have a powerful impact on our lives. To be truly happy and joyous, we need God’s blessings to open the gates of happiness. We need a connection with an energy beyond the physical constraints of the physical.

Chassidim are always dancing because they always long to lift themselves from the Earth and its materialism if only a few inches. This elevation away from earthly pursuits brings joy. The earth is synonymous with gravity and worldly pursuits bring a person down and heavy.

The Holy Baal Shem Tov said, “When people give a hand to their friend and their friend to his friend, and they gather and unite together in spirit, body, and thought, this bond of unity between them connects them with the Honorable Holy throne of God Himself.” This unity makes each individual more significant than they could ever reach or be alone.

When a person dances with his entire soul and body, it is like shaking out a garment, ridding it of all the accumulated dust and dirt. When a person dances with Godly inspiration, the soul is brought out from the physical body. The sand and dust disappear, and the “clothes” become clean.

The Talmud teaches us that elevating one’s voice when praying arouses concentration. When a person sings, this stimulates the feelings of the Godly spark, allowing us to experience inner happiness.

The Holy Book of the Zohar writes, “When we are happy, God above reacts to us in a happy and giving fashion.” Rabbi M. M. Schneerson encouraged us to be happy, sing, and dance for no other reason but because this will bring forth real blessings, joy, and the ultimate blessings from God.

The holiday of Sukkot opens wellsprings of joy. Eating in the Sukkah, shaking the Lulav and Etrog, and dancing with the Torah will bring joy for the coming year! These days are a potent source of joy. Whoever is happy in these days of Sukkot, with the help of God, will be happy(ier) for a whole year.

This means lifting one’s foot and dancing with the Torah, singing in the Sukkah, and clapping one’s hands while praying.

Chapter 244

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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