A guide to identifying true happiness

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Translation by Yehoshua Sikin

Happy Purim to Jerusalem, and happy after Purim to the rest of the world. What can we take away from the Purim holiday? Rabbi Yoni Lavi brings us a brief guide to identifying true happiness:

"True happiness is not fueled by externals -- loud music or alcoholic drinks. It is not connected to how much money you earn or how many daily 'likes' you get. It is not based on what you have, but on what you are.

Fake happiness is an escape from ordinary reality, from a need to 'go out' in order 'to live life.' To search for happiness in far off regions as opposed to finding it close by -- in family, work, and familiar surroundings. Fake happiness does not usually last more than a few minutes, or a maximum of a few hours. Often after it goes it leaves behind a bitter taste, exactly as though you had eaten something rotten.

Fake happiness also comes many times at the expense of someone else. It's the sister of cynicism, the cousin of callousness and smugness, and its family name is selfishness.

True happiness, on the other hand, is not tied to mocking another person and does not belong only to a closed and elitist group, but is actually doubled when we share it with others. Happiness like this gives us strength and motivation to continue onward, and its expiration date is not the next day.

True happiness is closely connected with faith and a positive outlook, contentment with our portion, and with seeing the glass half full. It does not ignore deficiencies and difficulties that exist in reality, but knows how to put them in proper perspective. True happiness knows how to be impressed and get excited from even little and routine things, and does not wait for a big 'boom' to awaken. It refuses to take for granted the infinite sea of gifts in which we swim, and remembers to say thank you every morning for everything there is.

Whoever is satisfied with the fake product will miss out on the opportunity to experience the real thing – sincere happiness, deep and internal, one of the most wonderful things in the world. Beware of imitations."

Happy Purim!

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