The Rebbe’s English Letters on Joy and Happiness

As we are now in the month of Adar, in which we are commanded and given the power to increase in joy, Rebbe Responsa presents a collection of letters on the topic of joy. 

In Judaism, unlike the current prevailing cultures, joy and happiness are a means to an end. We do not idolize happiness; it is a necessary tool in the service of G-d. A depressed state is reprehensible because it is not conducive to, and inhibits spiritual growth (refer to letter four). Additionally, we are commanded to serve G-d with joy (Tehillim 100:2), and through our emotions, we can attain new heights (letter one). 

An interesting benefit of being joyful, the Rebbe notes, is that in turn, G-d responds gracefully. The Rebbe references the Zohar which states that G-d reciprocates the attitude from below; when people below are rejoicing G-d acts accordingly (letter three).

The second half of the booklet discusses how to cultivate this necessary joy. In a few letters, the Rebbe mentions that we have to be thankful and count our blessings which are sure to make us cheerful (letters 8-9). The Rebbe also writes, based on Tanya (chapter 33), that through realizing the purpose in our lives, and that the King of Kings is pleased by our work, fills us with a very deep sense of joy (letter 7-8). Learning the places in Chassidic literature that discuss this issue can help bring out this joy (letter six). In one letter, the Rebbe references chapter 41 in Tanya, which discusses the fear of G-d, as a point to inspire happiness (letter 11). 

Over the past few weeks, Rebbe Responsa has been receiving tens of new letters which they are soon to publish. They kindly request anyone who may be in possession of letters of the Rebbe in English, to send them to the email below so that these unique treasures can benefit the public. In this week’s issue, they present a letter in which the Rebbe thanked the JRSO for securing a grant for offset printers to be used in Kefar Chabad’s Printing School (included is also the letter that was sent to the Rebbe).

These selected letters are sourced from the extensive collection of over 5,000 English letters written by the Rebbe, accessible through the Rebbe Responsa app. To view previous issues click here.

Click here to download the booklet. 

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