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Private Orthodox Jewish Day School

Premier Yeshiva Elementary near Miami Beach: Zman Simchasaynu - Adding Joy to Your Yom Tov by RABBI ZEV WEINER

Private Orthodox Jewish Day School: Happiness. Could there be an emotion more foundational than happiness? As individuals, it is a perspective for which we strive. As parents, there is no obstacle large enough to deny our efforts to provide this feeling for our children. Yet for many, in direct correlation to the amount of time we focus on its acquisition, happiness seems to elude us.

Sukkos, more than any Yom Tov, is described in our Tefillos as Zman Simchasaynu, time of our happiness. There are various cerebral justifications for such a description. First, Sukkos marks the end of the Yomim Noraim, the Holy Holidays. Beginning with the month of Elul, we embark on a reflective journey back to Hashem, highlighted by our declaration of His Kingship on Rosh Hashana and our sincere request for forgiveness on Yom Kippur. Sukkos then, is a time to rejoice having traversed this 40 day timeline successfully.

What can we do to internalize a sense of happiness for ourselves and transmit the emotion to our children?

Sukkos also marks the completion of a different yet equally significant cycle: the Shalosh Regalim of Pesach, Shavuos, and Sukkos fame. It is this process that tracks the development of our everlasting bond with Hashem, one in which we received the coveted title of Hashem’s nation. Having been freed from Egyptian bondage, then given His holy Torah at Sinai, we celebrate together with Hashem as we sit in the Sukkah.

The ideas mentioned thus far, while certainly true, can take years to properly engender a feeling of happiness in the most astute adult. What can we do and or focus on, so that we can internalize a sense of happiness for ourselves and thereby transmit the emotion to our children?

There are three mitzvos that we involve ourselves with over the course of the Sukkos holiday that I believe possess the ability to unleash the happiness for which we all search.

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