experimental mood..

Friday, 20 May, 2016 - 4:10 am


Dear Friends,


There are days, like today, when I find myself on the train at 6:30 a.m (!). Swiss trains are quiet at any time of day, but at such an early hour the silence is thundering, almost oppressive. While looking for a seat, I passed hundreds of passengers and searched for some sign of happiness, or at least a smile. It was a futile effort.

I changed my tactics and again roamed through the train, but this time smiling myself. Amazing! At least 50% of the travelers responded with a smile; artificial, of course, but, after all, mine was artificial as well…

You might ask, what prompted this experimental mood on a morning in the month of Iyar?

Well, this week, in Parashat Emor, the Rebbe mentions the need for constant happiness. He bases himself on the Rambam, who, when explaining the matter of Simchah on the holiday of Succot – as it says in the Parasha: “And you shall rejoice before Hashem, your G-d, for seven days” – adds a ruling relating to all days of the year: “The joy that a person should feel when doing a mitzvah and loving G-d as He has commanded, is a great task.”

Generally, Adar is the month during which we speak about joy, right? And maybe it’s the right topic around the time of the holidays as well. In Iyar one generally speaks about loving other Jews and about the students of Rabbi Akiva. But the Lubavitcher Rebbe never went with the flow, and he also educated his Chassidim to go against the flow.

So yes, friends, in the month of Iyar, as well, one should be happy and joyous!

It is with this in mind that I boarded the train, and when I went against the flow and smiled at everyone, it turned out that I had made an impact. Anyone following me was probably puzzled as to why everyone on the 6:30 a.m. train was smiling.


Wishing you a Shabbat of Simchah and Shalom,


Rabbi Zalmen Wishedski

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