In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 25, 2004 / 12 Kislev, 5765

The Secret to Happiness

By Rabbi David Aaron

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If you think religion is going to give you a quick fix you are wrong. And if you think that religion will put you on easy street you are deluded

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Very often religion is presented as offering the secret to ultimate happiness. I have heard religious leaders try to entice people towards a religious lifestyle promising them that through the synagogue or the church they will find happiness and bliss.

This approach is really no different than any other marketing strategies. People want to be happy and are looking for the magic formula. Marketers bombard us daily with promises for a better life. Blondes have more fun, toothpaste gives your mouth sex appeal, lose weight and feel great. It is too easy to point to a million things that we are missing that are the cause of our unhappiness. People think that all they need is the more and the right. If only I had more hair, more muscle more, more shape, more money, more, more, more. If only I had the right person in my life, the right job, the right apartment, the right, the right, the right. People are hoping to find a quick and easy formula for happiness. They want to just add water and stir. They want to pop their problems into a microwave and happiness is ready in just seconds. And there are religious leaders who make that very promise. They claim all you got to do is believe. All you got to do is learn Torah, do the mitzvoth and you've got it made. G-d will take care of you and your life will be blessed with bliss.

Although I agree that faith, study and practice are a lot better products to buy than a new car, nicer clothing, or more expensive perfume. But if you think religion is going to give you a quick fix you are wrong. And if you think that religion will put you on easy street you are deluded.

Did Abraham have an easy life? Hardly. The Torah (Bible) teaches us that Abraham was challenged with ten difficult tests. Jacob had an even more troubling life than Abraham. For years he lived as a fugitive running from his brother who sought to kill him. His daughter was raped. His wife dies while giving birth to their son. Jacob's sons sell their younger brother Joseph as a slave but lead Jacob to believe that he was killed. Jacob mourns for years over the loss and is never able to overcome the pain until he is finally reunited with Joseph in Egypt. Jacob did not have a blissful life.

The life of David, who authored many of the psalms, was definitely not a merry-go-round either. Many of the psalms David wrote capture the depth of a person who struggled with and faced the most trying of times. Millions of people for thousands of years have turned to the psalms in their most painful moments finding solace in the words of a man who surely experienced their troubles and was able to express their pain, fears and hopes.

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The general history of the Jewish people has certainly not been a barrel of laughs. Has any other nation on earth suffered as much as the Jews? And yet the Torah refers to the Jewish people as the chosen people. They are described as the first born of G-d and a treasured nation.

People are looking for happiness in all the wrong places. And they will never find it. Because happiness is not something you find outside — it lies within your soul. You cannot find happiness you have to learn to be happy in whatever is happening.

The Torah does not give any dispensations from the challenges of life. It does not promise an easy life but a meaningful life. It does not offer an instant solution to sadness but it does offer a soulution to sadness and the secret to happiness. Through its' wisdom and guidance, Torah empowers you to be soul and enables you to make I contact with the Ultimate I — G-d.

Now please don't misunderstand me, I have seen plenty of people jump into a Torah life and they are not happy. But that is because they thought it was a quick fix and the road to bliss. They were not willing to really embrace the challenges of life and do the inner soul work that the Torah is expecting and guiding us to do. These miserable souls are only practicing Torah but they are not living it. They may keep the Sabbath but they are not celebrating the Shabbes. They may observe the mitzvas (religious duties) but they are not immersed in the mitzvas. Torah life is like a song. But to make music you need to be more than just a technician you need to be a musician. You have to play the song with more than just your fingers. You have to play it with your soul.

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Rabbi David Aaron is the founder and dean of Isralight, an international organization with programming in Israel, New York South Florida, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Toronto. He has taught and inspired thousands of Jews who are seeking meaning in their lives and a positive connection to their Jewish roots.

He is the author of the newly released, The Secret Life of G-d, and also the author of Endless Light, Seeing G-d and Love is my religion. (Click on link to purchase books. Sales help fund JWR.) He lives in the old City of Jerusalem with his wife and their seven children.

© 2004, Rabbi David Aaron