Happiness saves us from all of our sins – Parshat Ki Teitzei, 5777

Rav Berland on Parshat Ki-Teitzei


Happiness saves us from all our sins! By way of happiness, we merit every healing and cure! By way of happiness, we merit to have every salvation!… By way of happiness, we can wipe out Amalek! And erase all of our sins! By way of happiness, we can escape from every sin in the whole world.

We need to be very careful to always be happy, because the second that there’s some sadness because we did a sin, or because we’re worrying about making a living, then a person can very easily fall into an even bigger transgression. Because of his sadness, because of his worry, he can fall into much bigger sins.

There are people who enjoy feeling sad more than anything else, they spend their whole life feeling sad. If you try to cheer them up, even a little bit, you just annoy them. They never felt the taste of true happiness their whole life.

“And the rule is that we need to make every effort, with every drop of our strength, to always be in a state of happiness, because it’s human nature for a person to be attracted to bitter blackness, depression, and sadness, because of all his flaws and past actions. And every person is full of suffering and difficulties, so he needs to force himself, using all of his strength, to always be happy.” – Likutey Moharan, Part II, Lesson 24.

A person becomes sad in order to try to forget all of the difficulties he’s experiencing. The sadness plunges him into a sort of bitter, black depression which numbs his thought processes and paralyses his senses. Sadness is an opiate! Sadness is an opiate, a drug, that makes a person feel ‘quiet’ and ‘serene’ – but this is all just pretend, imagination!


The opposite is really true! Sadness and depression only amplifies the difficulties, and causes them to grow even larger. So, the essence of a person’s spiritual work is to fight against this sadness, and this requires a lot of mesirut Nefesh (self-sacrifice). Never let the sadness and depression rule over you!

Rav Natan says that fighting against despair requires a lot of mesirut Nefesh. Happiness doesn’t come all by itself. Acquiring happiness is the hardest thing of all. The biggest obstacles of all are placed in front of happiness. The whole war that that the Soton (satan) is fighting is only around happiness! This is what he’s fighting about! His whole war is that you shouldn’t be happy. This is the work of the Soton, that you shouldn’t feel happy, that you shouldn’t dance, that you shouldn’t feel joyful.

Each of has to endure indignities and disgrace, each us goes through all sorts of escapades with out bodies and souls. There’s a million reasons why we should be depressed! It’s human nature, to feel sad and depressed! But it’s possible to sort everything out with happiness. If a person dances and sings songs to Hashem, then all the shefa, all the bounty will come to him.

There’s no reason, truly, to be sad. Each of us has a powerful intellect, each of can achieve everything contained in the whole world, but only if a person leaves his sadness and depression behind.

By way of happiness, we can merit to turn the ‘down’ into an ‘up’, and change all the judgments into salvations.


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