by Rabbi Nati @ Mystical Paths
As I was walking past a yeshiva I was accosted by a Torah scholar. He was existing and seeing me in extremely distinctive Jewish chassidic clothing (modern Meah Shearim style – available only in Jerusalem) he ran over and almost jumped in front of me asking “Why is it that chassidim are happy all the time??? It doesn’t stay that anywhere in the Torah?”
I asked him if he had a Shulchan Aruch handy (a code of Jewish law), at which point he took me into the yeshiva and pointed at the shelf. I pulled down a volume that contains a statement by the mechaber (the author of the Shulchan Aruch) that many Torah scholars miss as they delve into the depth and details of every Torah law.
It says (not an exact quote) ‘one who is not happy is disqualified from being a shochet (ritual slaughterer), a mohel (ritual circumciser), a dayan (Jewish religious court judge)… (and others)’.
As he read it his face fell as he realized he’d erred in taking a purely serious attitude approach to Torah and life.
He paused a moment, put the volume back on the shelf, turned to me, took a deep breath and said “I guess I better learn how to be happy.”