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How can Chassidism demand joyfulness when there are so many problems?

by Mrs. Sarah Levi


Library » History » Chassidism | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Problems in the world? That's precisely why Chassidism demands a positive attitude.

Chassidism stresses happiness because being happy smashes obstacles. When you don't just live life, but revel in it, nothing will get you down.

As for problems, well, a true Chassid simply doesn't see them as problems. Chassidism teaches that we are not human beings having spiritual experiences--we are spiritual beings having human experiences. And among those human experiences are "problems."

When the student of Chassidism meditates on the fact that G-d is the One and Only Source of all things, he or she remembers that everything has a purpose and goodness can be found everywhere--even in problems. The student then realizes the intimate relationship he or she enjoys with his or her Creator, and therefore welcomes the challenges of life with relish and vitality. Chassidism focuses on the fact that G-d has chosen us to be His partner in creation, for through Mitzvah observance we are assured that we perpetuate the world's existence. In fact, we find that the entire purpose of Creation is for humankind to transform the unrefined physical world into a refined, spiritual place.

...we are not human beings having spiritual experiences--we are spiritual beings having human experiences.
Belief in G-d is critical, of course, but without a positive belief in G-d, one of happiness, that belief can rapidly sink into one of gloom and doom.

So Bobby McFerrin is right: "Don't worry, be happy!" (Is he a Chassid?)

TAGS: joy, happiness


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Philosophy » Pain and Suffering
Chassidism » Chassidic Perspective

(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
(Pl.: Chassidim; Adj.: Chassidic) A follower of the teachings of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), the founder of "Chassidut." Chassidut emphasizes serving G-d with sincerity and joy, and the importance of connecting to a Rebbe (saintly mentor).
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.