Did you read the parsha[i] this week? I read it, but I did not like it. Actually I had to force myself to read it. It is horrible. The 98 curses that G-d warns us can come are listed. I have never read anything like this in my entire life. I know that somehow we are supposed to see them as blessings, but I haven't got that far yet. They are still curses to me; especially when I see holocaust pictures and other reminders of what has happened to us during these thousands of years of exile. Horrible is too nice a word to describe them.
But written within them is probably the most important single life changing instruction in the entire Torah. If we will just learn this one thing we are guaranteed to have a great life.
Why would Hashem the kind and merciful Father of us all bring those curses to His beloved people? What could anyone possibly do to deserve them? He tells us upfront in the middle of the list. These curses come, "because you did not serve Hashem your G-d amid gladness and goodness of heart when everything was abundant."[ii] It does not say they come from not serving. It says they come even when serving, but serving and not being happy doing it.
Just try it and see what happens to your spiritual life. Be happy when you do a mitzvah. The mitzvahs make us holy! What better reason is there than that to be happy?
Have a happy New Year.