Menachem Bluming Sounds off on “Why Smile ?”

Your face is not just your business. It is public property. You only have to look at your own face once briefly in the morning. Everyone else has to look at your face all day. So just because you are in a bad mood or going through a rough patch, doesn’t mean everyone else has to be brought down too. The people around you deserve to be greeted with a pleasant face.
Of course, smiling is not only for the benefit of others, but for your own benefit too. The number one cause of misery is not life’s troubles but rather self-absorption. The more you think about yourself and your predicament, the more you marinate in self-pity, the more miserable you become.

On the other hand, when you look outside of yourself, look around you and see how you can be of service to others, when you smile not because you are in the mood but because others deserve to be smiled at, you start to feel upbeat and light again.
This is not to say that there are never any real reasons to be sad, or that smiling is a magical cure for depression. The point is that smiling is a duty you have to others. And when you focus on your duties rather than your difficulties, you are on the road to happiness.

So Smile 🙂

Menachem Mendel Bluming, Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org

Menachem Bluming on the Flu

So many people are feeling dreary with the flu. May they recover quickly!

How does this work from G-d’s perspective? This illness holds us back from doing so many good things and furthering our mission?

Who knows… here’s a telling story:

There was once a Jew who lived on a farm, far away from any Jewish community. He was a devout and pious man, and he and his wife did their best to create a Jewish home for his children. But he yearned to be surrounded by Jews, to be able to pray in a shul, study Torah with like-minded people and be part of a community. Day in and day out for years he would sit alone with his prayer book and his volume of Talmud, wishing he could share them with others.

After many years, his dream started to come true. Slowly, more Jews moved to his area. It took decades, but he did build a community. Forty years after his arrival, that remote country town boasted a shul with daily services, regular Torah classes, a mikvah and a warm little community. He was no longer praying alone.

But the Rebbe said something astounding about this.

This Jew certainly got more pleasure from the vibrant latter years than the lonely early ones. But we don’t know which G-d enjoyed more. It could be G-d took pleasure from his lonely prayers of yearning, all those years of wishing and pining, even more than the communal satisfaction that came later.

A sincere desire to do good is itself a holy moment. When you wish you could help someone but circumstances don’t allow it, or when you truly would love to do a mitzvah but your health prevents you from doing it, that pure intention is precious to G-d. And who knows, maybe more precious than when you do a mitzvah with ease.

May you have a full recovery and get back to all your good deeds with full strength. And when things are good, remember your precious loneliness.

Menachem Mendel Bluming, Rabbi Moss and Chabad.org