|Graphic from here|
“Yiddishkeit is only transmitted one way, through simcha. It’s not transmitted through intimidation.”
The quote, isn’t mine (but I wish it was). It was said by Dr. Rabbi Jerry Lob, a clinical psychologist in Chicago. These two sentences are actually from a lecture he gave a number of years ago for Priority-1 titled “The Making of a Mentch”. The mp3 is available for streaming or downloading here. I look at these everyday when I come into work. My children would probably be better off if I posted them on the back door to read become I come home.
All too often the core values we want to impart, the middos we wish to highlight, and minhagim we wish to give over, and the Toarh we attempt to teach isn’t always transmitted through simcha. This really should be a refrigerator magnet and sold as a fundraiser for a school or yeshiva (another good idea of mine that someone will profit from).
Think about it. If teachers would read this before starting their teaching day, our chinuch system might be a little different. If I read this before sitting down for a Shabbos meal, trying to get a child to start their limudei Kodesh homework, or telling my own kids kids to clean their rooms our home would be different. I don’t think that showing simcha is the end all cure for all the ills within society, but it has got to be a better option than intimidation.
For more reading about happiness, I will refer you to an article about the Chazon Ish’s view of happiness that can be found here.