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

by Mrs. Sarah Levi

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?)



Related Categories

Philosophy » Pain and Suffering
Chassidism » Chassidic Perspective

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