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How's life? I recommend it!

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

The month of Adar I begins this evening and "when Adar enters, joy increases." (Ta'anit 29a) Yesterday night, Rabbi Yoni Lavi spoke at a Mithadshot workshop as follows:
"Children argue with each other but then make up right away, yet grown-ups can perpetuate arguments for years. What's the reason for this? For a child, it's important to be joyful, while for a grown-up it's important to be right. A child desires to be joyful and understands that arguing makes this impossible. So he puts arguments aside. A grown-up wants to be right, and so he can perpetuate arguments until the grave.
"In the month of Adar, we have an opportunity to connect with simple joy, to rejoice in just being alive. There are people whom you ask: 'How's life?' and they answer: 'plugging along . . . surviving . . .' I once met an old woman who, when asked 'How's life?' would answer, 'I recommend it!' And she was completely sincere, full of vitality and joy.
"In children's education, there is plenty of room for modeling joy. The way to attach children to our values and to our beliefs is by asking this question of ourselves: How do we look when we do this or that? Do we show our kids that we are having fun on Shabbat, and in our preparations for Shabbat? How do we experience the holidays, from lighting Hanukkah candles to cleaning for Pesach? Do we demonstrate enthusiasm and a sense of adventure? I want children not to want to leave the Friday night dinner table because they're having so much fun, because of the laughter and joy all around them, because whoever is not there is missing out."
Have a good and joyful month.


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