Living in Joy

A Great Mitzvah

There are two kinds of joy, our sages teach. There is joy that is contingent on a particular outcome: getting what you want, winning a contest, or seeing a rainbow. This wonderful feeling is dependent on things going our way. There is also joy that is not contingent on anything other than being alive. This experience of joy can abide within us regardless of external events.

This joy fills us as water fills a well from a deep and unseen source, fills us to overflowing so that we effortlessly become sources of joy for those near to us.

In this workshop we will learn to cultivate joy. Judaism offers many teachings and opportunities to help us practice. Together we will study, eat, breathe, pray, sing, dance, meditate and reflect in ways that open us and fill us with the simple, sustaining pleasure of being alive. As Reb Nachman of Bratslav taught, “Mitzvah gedolah lih’yot b’simcha tamid!” – “It is a great mitzvah to always practice being in a state of joy!”

(This workshop was originally designed for the celebration of Sukkot, but works anytime!)

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