20 Tamuz 5779 / Tuesday, July 23, 2019 | Torah Reading: mattot
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Pursuing Happiness    

Pursuing Happiness

The inability to revel in the energy and accomplishments of the present day is offset by the belief that tomorrow holds the essential missing ingredient that we longed for…


Transcribed by Devora Shifrin


Rabbi Nachman stated that “Worldly pleasures are like sunbeams in a dark room”, it is only when one tries to grasp them, that he realizes his hands are empty. Most people spend their lives in the pursuit of what they think will finally make them happy. Happiness soon becomes an elusive dream as the idea of a better future diverts their focus from the present moment. The inability to revel in the energy and accomplishments of the present day is offset by the belief that tomorrow holds the essential missing ingredient that we longed for all along.


It is human nature to quickly take what we have for granted, and to forget the desperation we felt yesterday for something that we have today. Grasping for physicality will always leave us feeling empty, because the pleasures of this world are indeed transitory in nature, whereas our souls are the antithesis of fleeting. Our spiritual essence is eternal, making it impossible for that which is temporary to satisfy our everlasting core.


The primary struggle that this generation faces is the conflict between hope and despair. The challenges that accompany each stage in life become a breeding ground for anxiety and doubt. When faced with relentless obstacles, it may seem easier to run away and hide behind the many distractions that this world has to offer, yet it’s important to hang on in these moments of confusion and sadness. Just hang on through the concealment of truth and meaning, hang on to the hope for the future, and most importantly, hang on to the weapon of prayer, which will see you through the battle for resilience.


We may believe that happiness lies behind the next new car, house, or relationship; however, real happiness is found in spiritual pursuits. It is found in the fight against despair, when we rise up after we fall, when we decide to act better than we feel despite to urge to give up, and when we recommit daily to living our unique mission, to never retreat when things get rough, and to strengthen ourselves by connecting to our eternal source.


The physical comforts that we enjoy are provided to aid us in fulfilling our purpose. Bringing spirituality into the physical aspects of our lives, bridges the gap between the two polarities. Expressing gratitude for the material things that we own, allows us to enjoy the present moment, while acknowledging the divine source of our prosperity. Connecting to God through prayer, enables us to establish and maintain a relationship with our creator and sustainer. Prayer also provides us with a method to cope with the challenges that we constantly face, and it keeps us grounded to what is truly important while becoming a beacon of light during times of darkness.



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About Gedale Fenster - Gedale Fenster, a Miami-based entrepreneur and motivational speaker, is the founder and CEO of the People’s Insurance Claim Center and Evolutions Treatment Center. He has also established the Breslov Center, where he teaches. He hosts a series of daily and weekly online lectures at http://www.gedalefenster.com/

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