Shabbat: Happiness Only (With a Soundtrack)




I've often pondered this question:

Does the music I listen to influence my mood?
or
Does my mood influence the music I listen to?

The answer, of course, is yes.

Landslide by Fleetwood Mac will always make me tear up...
(Especially this 1975 version. She is so young.)

As will Time by Pink Floyd...
 (Don't forget the alarm clocks at the beginning!)


But the tecnho Orthodox chant at the top of this post has never failed to make me smile. It's damn upbeat, it has a great hook, and you can really dance to it!

The followers of Rebbe Nachman are known for driving their vans around Israel, stopping traffic and dancing in the intersections.

Their eponymous Rebbe was big on happiness, and quotes like this are everywhere in his writing:

Be very careful to feel only joy on Shabbat. There is nothing to compare with the greatness and holiness of Shabbat. The key to honoring the Shabbat is joy. Don't show even a hint of depression or anxiety on Shabbat. Treat yourself to all kinds of delights in the food you eat, what you drink, your clothes...  whatever you can afford. 

The food of Shabbat is completely holy. It is purely spiritual and filled with Godliness. It rises to a totally different place from that of the food of the six working days.

Make an effort to feel the joy of Shabbat and you will find true happiness.

--Rebbe Nachman  
Likutey Moharan II, 17

That's a tall order, but I like that he ends with "make an effort".  Sometimes there is more than "do," there is also "try". 

[This post doesn't serve as an endorsement of the Na Nachs, their theology or practices, which I know very little about beyond the views on joy. I'm sure we disagree about much. ] 

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