Monday, August 19, 2013



by Reb Gutman Locks


     Most religious Jews would be better off if they smiled more (most everyone would be!) It is surprising how many of them vigorously defend their stern looks. It seems that they are worried if they smile someone might think that they are playing around.

     Here is what modern scientists say about your smile:

Scientists note that when a person makes a happy face, even when it’s completely fake, his body starts to produce the physiological symptoms of joy. And similarly, when a person frowns their physiology changes in ways that indicate sadness.[i]

     And the Torah says: “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”[ii]

     “When G-d returns the exiles of Zion, we will have been like dreamers. Then our mouth will be filled with laughter and our tongue with songs of joy”[iii]

     You don’t have to wait for the Final Redemption before you smile. In fact, your smile might help to bring it quicker.[iv]

[i] Scientific American, Mind and Brain, Oct 14, 2009, Melinda Wenner, “Smile it could make you happier.”

[ii] Proverbs 15:13

[iii] Psalms 126:1

[iv] G-d’s revealed Presence comes only in joy. Shabbos 30b


  1. Not so sure that's a good picture to go with your opening thesis.

  2. Rebbe Nachman on the importance of smiling:

    "With happiness you can give another person life!

    There are people who suffer terrible pain but cannot express what is in their heart. They would like to speak about their suffering but they have no- one to whom they can explain what is really in their heart. This leaves them full of pain and anguish.

    When you come to such a person with a smiling face, you can literally give that person life. To give a person life is not an empty gesture. It is something very great.

    Sichot Haran #43"


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