Simcha's Torah Stories - Vayigash
"Avi, how are you doing?"
"Okay, I guess."
"You look a little down."
"Well, I am a little depressed."
"Did something bad happen?"
"No, just a feeling."
"Can I share something with you that may cheer you up?"
"That would be great. I would like to cheer up."
"Great. Do you know that a person's natural state is to be happy?"
"Yes, absolutely. The essence of our soul is happy. Left to its natural self, it would always be happy."
"It sure is. Something wonderful happens when we get happy. We get closer to G-d."
"Truly. The opposite is also true. When we get down or upset, we move away from G-d."
"Oy vey. These are pretty deep concepts. How do you know all of this, Chaim?"
"Believe it or not, we see an example of it in this week's parsha, Avi. Do you remember back in parshas Vayeshev, when Yosef was sold as a slave and taken to Mitzraim?"
"Yes, of course."
"The brothers dipped his coat in blood and brought it to Yaakov. He thought that a wild animal had killed Yosef. He mourned for Yosef and refused to accept any comfort. Normally a person only mourns for one year, but he mourned for twenty two years."
"That is so sad."
"An interesting thing happened during those years. Yaakov Avinu, like all of our forefathers, was a prophet. G-d would appear to him in a dream. A prophet, as you can imagine, is very close to G-d. During those twenty two years of mourning, he did not have one single prophecy."
"When Yaakov Avinu was happy, he was close enough to G-d to receive prophecy. However, when he was sad, he was not as close to G-d. Therefore, he could not receive prophecy."
"A wonderful thing happens in this week's parsha. Yaakov is informed that Yosef is still alive. He and all of the family begin the journey to Mitzraim to meet him. On the road, at night, Yaakov has his first prophecy in twenty two years."
"So you see, Avi, happiness is a very good thing. It makes you more productive, healthier, and better in every way. But the most important thing that being happy does is to give you a big spiritual uplift. It brings you closer to G-d."
"Chaim, you have really cheered me up. I always knew that it was good to be happy. But, I never realized how important it is."
"Avi, your face is practically glowing with happiness. You are standing a little taller then you were a few minutes ago."
"Am I really taller, Chaim?"
"Yes, Avi. You're walking one step closer to G-d."
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