In his weekly column, Rav Kenny "Chaim" Cohen, an English teacher at Machon Meir in Jerusalem, refers to current events that relate to Jewish life using an interesting and comprehensive approach to the entire public.
This week, he deals with the question "How does Judaism help a person be happy?" Cohen suggests that even on Sefirat Haomer, the period between Pesach and Shavuot in which sadness and mourning are paramount, one should try to be happy all the time.
Cohen explains that happiness provides strength and energy. A good attitude can help a person manage any situation with greater ease. If someone makes a point of smiling and being happy, then his approach to life is positive and his routine will change. Happiness is the tool that allows us to plow through our difficulties, he says.
This emotional state is always relevant, even during sad periods such as the present counting of the Omer, a ritual reminder of the time between our leaving Egypt and receiving the Torah.
Keeping the Mitzvot is an objective that provides us a sense of satisfaction and happiness. This formula gives clear directions for confronting your surroundings with happiness and learning to accept the good and the bad in the proper way.
Machon Meir is a Center for Jewish Studies located in the heart of Jerusalem, in the neighborhood of Kiryat Moshe. It was established by Rabbi Dov Bigon shortly after the Yom Kippur War in 1973. For the last 35 years, the center has been a place for all of Am Yisrael to come and learn more about their Jewish roots. It has expanded into a facility with over 500 students and classes in Hebrew, English, Russian, French and Spanish.