Being Pulled into Happiness

In this limud we explore those areas in our lives where we find happiness and those areas in our lives where we want to find happiness. Through a mashal from Rebbe Nachman of Bresslov we explore what it is that may be holding us back sometimes from finding happiness.
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Written by:
Miriam Schwartz
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ברכה ראשונה

  • Names - Imagine yourself walking into a room, everyone REALLY happy to see you and say your name with a big smile. : )
  • In what places, or areas of my life do I most feel שמחה / happiness? What places do I know I can find happiness?
  • In what places, or areas of my life, would I like to find or bring more שמחה / happiness?

ליקוטי מוהר"ן מאת רבי נחמן מברסלב (תנינא תורה כג בעניין השמחה)

On the topic of happiness, 

a mashal- an analogy: 

Sometimes, when people are happy and dancing, 

they grab someone standing outside [the circle],

who is depressed and gloomy. 

They bring him, against his will, into the circle of dancers,

and they force him, against his will, to be happy along with them.

בְּעִנְיַן הַשִּׂמְחָה 

עַל פִּי מָשָׁל

שֶׁלִּפְעָמִים כְּשֶׁבְּנֵי אָדָם שְׂמֵחִים וּמְרַקְּדִים

אֲזַי חוֹטְפִים אִישׁ אֶחָד מִבַּחוּץ

שֶׁהוּא בְּעַצְבוּת וּמָרָה שְׁחֹרָה

וּמַכְנִיסִים אוֹתוֹ בְּעַל כָּרְחוֹ לְתוֹך מְחוֹל הַמְרַקְּדִים

וּמַכְרִיחִים אוֹתוֹ בְּעַל כָּרְחוֹ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שָׂמֵחַ עִמָּהֶם גַם כֵּן

Questions for Discussion and Reflection

  • What words did you hear?
  • Have you ever been pulled into the circle or pulled someone else into a circle? How does that feel?
  • Can you be happy when you're forced to do something? How?
  • Has someone (a friend, a parent, a teacher) ever made you do something you didn't want to do and you were grateful to them afterwards?
  • What prevents us from seeing that something can bring us happiness? Why do other people sometimes see what will make us happy easier than we can?
  • *What do you think the nimshal is?*

ברכה אחרונה

  • A “sadness” I need to invite into my Purim is….
  • Turn to a partner: Based on our learning and discussion, how can you be מרבה בשמחה this purim?
  • Share something you heard your partner say.

Notes to Teacher

  • When answering questions #2 and #3, feel free to ask students if they resonate with something someone says, or if they have had a similar experience.
  • The goal of these questions is for everyone bringing themselves to the table and becoming a “parnas”.
  • Help the students understand that being inside and outside the circle is just figurative. Think of a time you were on the “outside of the circle”. How did it feel?
  • Students may reflect on the ברכה אחרונה either privately or on paper.

עבודת המורה

  • As a teacher, what are the areas of your teaching which give you the most שמחה?
  • What are the areas of your teaching where you struggle to have שמחה?
  • How have you been pulled into the circle?
  • Was there a specific person who pulled you into the circle?
  • Did you pull yourself into the circle? Is it even possible to pull yourself into the circle?
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Please help others by sharing how you used the resource, how you adapted it (link to your own version!) and what worked more or less well. You can also post questions that Lifnai Vlifnim staff or community members will try to respond to.

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