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  • Writer's pictureJodi Samuels

That’s just the headlines…. Keep listening and there is more bad news.

After 5 minutes of listening to the news headlines we are forced to ask ourselves how much worse can things get. Terrorism, bombings, failed states, Covid on the rise and untold amounts of suffering.

This week’s Torah portion tells us the importance of simcha, serving HaShem and living a life imbued with joy and happiness. It seems a tough ask given everything going on in the world and most people have their own personal trials and issues. Yet we are told to be happy even when things are not going well.

When we received the diagnosis of Down syndrome I was terrified. I have a first cousin with Down syndrome and I knew what the diagnosis meant. I also knew I had a choice to make. I could not change my reality so I had to change how I would see my reality. I chose to be positive and happy. I also knew that the commitment to be happy would spread to others. Certainly to Caila’s siblings they did not see sad parents but happy ones.

As we head to Shabbat no matter how crazy our worlds feel let’s implement the wisdom of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov who would teach “Smile even when you have nothing to smile about, and HaShem will give you a reason to smile.”


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