Got a little bit of extra time? ChallahCrumbs is taking your family to Sunday school. This week we’re talking about Happiness. Is there a secret to being happy?
Set up a mini-study session with our three sources and the guided questions.
… it is a great mitzvah (commandment) to always be in a state of happiness. (R’Nachman from Bratslav)
List five mitzvot that you know.
How can you be commanded to be happy? Aren’t we allowed to choose how we feel?
Why do you think R’ Nachman considers being happy is a great mitzvah?
The Divine Presence does not rest amidst gloom and laziness, amidst frivolity, levity, or idle conversation and chatter, but only in the joy of performing a mitzvah. (Sabbath 30b)
How do you feel around someone who is sad or angry? How do feel when you are around someone happy?
Ben Zoma says: Who is rich? The one who is happy with what he has…
What does a rich person look like to you? How is this quote the same or different from what you described
What is this text saying about wealth?
There are times when we feel happy and times when we feel sad. Can you choose when to be happy or when not to be sad? Why is being happy a good thing? How can we try to make the best of every situation? The next time you are mad, angry or sad, what do you think you can do to try to make yourself feel better?
Make a Happy Mask!
Felt, colored cardboard or craft foam for the basic mask
Glue and tape
1-foot piece of narrow elastic cord (long enough to go from the corner of one eye, around the back of your head and to the corner of your other eye
Decorative materials such as feathers, sequins, glitter, beads, ribbon, pipe cleaners or lace
1. Use the paper plate for the mask. Outline eyes and a smiling mouth, then cut it out.
2. Decorate the mask using any materials you like. You can use glitter, ribbon around the eye openings, feathers taped to the back, fluffy feathers all around the face, fake eyelashes and/or confetti. Glue everything well and let it dry.
3. Cut a small hole on both sides of the mask for attaching the cord. Tie a knot in one end of the elastic cord. Thread it through the mask and around the back, securing it by threading it through a hole in the front of the mask and tying a knot.
Rivky Schramm Krestt has taught in Hebrew Schools, Community Schools, and Day Schools. She loves finding a way to take the words of a text and make them tangible, relatable, and relevant. She is the Chair of Judaics at the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School and lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband and three children.