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Wednesday, 29 September, 2010 - 12:00 pm

There are many things that can make a person happy. As the old adage goes: If someone says money can't buy happiness, they don't know where to shop.

What makes a Jew happy? Mitzvos? What about the Jew who doesn't "keep" the mitzvos?

On Yom Kippur, every Jew goes to shul regardless of their mitzvah observance. On Shmimi Atzeret and Simchat Torah (which begins tonight and continues until sundown on Friday), all Jews are happy and joyous, expressing our confidence that G-d has answered our prayers and is granting us a happy and healthy sweet new year; regardless of our mitzva observance.

On Simchat Torah we dance with the wrapped, unopened Torah. This expresses our relationship with G-d and his Torah, the way it is in its essence, which is even higher than what is actually written in the Torah. On these days, we are the Torah's feet and we help uplift the Torah, as it lifts us all year-round. We are all happy, every Jew, regardless of their "mitzvah observance".

According to Kabalah, it is the dance of the unbreakable union: Torah, G-d and the Jewish people. The expression of this bond is not through learning but through dancing with the Torah. The rest of the year, we learn how to implement the mitzvot which enhance the relationship, by learning the Torah.

As these days go by, keep in mind that it is a joyous time. It is a time to uplift, a time to be feet for the Torah and to uplifted by by all this.

Find a fellow Jew who lives near you and make their smile brighter. (and tell them to email me :) @ rabbi@harfordjewish.com

Happy Holiday!

Rabbi K. Schusterman

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