Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Your Face is Public Property

Question of the Week:

A quick question. . . my friends often tell me to smile more. But how can one always just smile and be happy if (not so) deep down one has pressing troubles, worries and problems to deal with? Must I smile when I am not in the mood?


What has smiling to do with your mood? What has the look on your face to do with the feelings in your heart?

Your face is not your business. It is public property. You only have to look at your own face once briefly in the morning. Everyone else has to look at your face all day. So just because you are in a bad mood or going through a rough patch, doesn't mean everyone else has to be brought down too. The people around you deserve to be greeted with a pleasant face.

Of course, smiling is not only for the benefit of others, but for your own benefit too. The number one cause of misery is not life's troubles but rather self-absorption. The more you think about yourself and your predicament, the more you marinate in self-pity, the more miserable you become.

On the other hand, when you look outside of yourself, look around you and see how you can be of service to others, when you smile not because you are in the mood but because others deserve to be smiled at, you start to feel upbeat and light again.

This is not to say that there are never any real reasons to be sad, or that smiling is a magical cure for depression. The point is that smiling is a duty you have to others. And when you focus on your duties rather than your difficulties, you are on the road to happiness.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss

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  1. On the one hand, I completely agree with this. On the other side of the coin, hachitzoniyut mioreret et hapnimiyot never worked for me... when the outside doesnt accurately rflect what is going on internally, isnt there a cognitive dissonance that more unnerves rather than changes the internal attitude? For me, whenever I try it, I just feel stupid and frustrated that the smil on the outside has nothing to do with the real me on the inside, and instead of that tilting the inside towards how the outside is, it rather just tilts the outside back to reflect the internal reality.

  2. Great post!! Our actions affect others so, so, SO much -- even our facial expressions!

  3. Very true!!! Also when a person smiles when they are in pain, Hashem will give them what to smile about!!! (for good reasons!) And also when a person smiles to others and makes another person happy, that makes the one who smiled happy! Because it feels amazing to make another person feel good!!! And besides the fact, smiles are very very catchy, so why not make the whole world smile??? (You never know that smile just might return back to you!)

  4. i actually don't have a comment about this topic but being that your blog is a great source of inspiration and entertainment i need to ask: do you know the lyrics of a song about a boy waving a red flag and waiting for a captain to come with his ship. a man asks him why and the boy says the captain is my father. if you hear of anything like this, i'm anxious to teach the song, once i see the lyrics, it'll come back to me...thanks, even if you can't find it. I LOVE YOUR BLOG!

  5. I would like this message better if it proved its points by quoting exact sources from classic Torah books. I am “into” exact sources.
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  6. A message from Moishela,a handicapped child yud gimmel Tamuz
    July 15, 2011 BS"D
    A Message to the Frum Yidden in America. First of all I want to offer my deepest condolences to the parents of Leiby z”l and to all Am Yisroel. Leiby z”l was obviously a Korbon, a Korbon Tzibur. He died Al Kiddush Hashem. It’s not so obvious why this terrible murder would beconsidered Kiddush Hashem. But indeed this little Leiby was killed on Kiddush Hashem. His soul was pure and he was killed not by a Goy but by a Jew who was obviously deranged. He died because of our terrible Aveiros. He died in order to draw attention to the fact that we - Am Yisroel - all over the world, but especially in America, have forgotten what it is to be a true Jew. We have strayed in the worst way turning our Yiddishkeit into plastic, turning it away from Hakadosh Boruch Hu. Holding on to the tail of the Egel Hazahav and letting ourselves be dragged into the world of Gashmius (materialistic world). The average frum Jew in America learns Torah, works, wears a beard and payos, davens more or less 3 times a day, eats what is stamped kosher and on the outside at least looks more or less like an observant Jew. However, the truth is that the modern American frum Jew, the so-called frum Jew, is very taken up with gashmius. Many (at least up to just before 2008) lived in opulence; fancy houses, large cars, spectacular vacations etc., discarding important details like Tznius and Teshuva. Now times are much harder. People are suffering more generally and therefore their hearts are more open for change. However, even with all the financial difficulties and all the unusual tragedies the frum community continues moving along in the direction of oblivion; in the direction that the Egel Hazahav is pulling us.
    Life of a Jew in America has become superficial and the opposite direction of Yiddeshkeit. We dress our aveiros in tzidkus, but when you scratch the surface of the mitzvos you see that they are really aveiros, and therefore little Leiby was a shock to the frum community. Little Leiby wasn’t killed by an anti-semitic goy, not an Arab, not a Christian, not a Negro not a white, but he was killed by a so called Yid. Our communities are being slaughtered by so called frum Yidden and their lies. We are being taught some kind of twisted version of Yiddishkeit and educating our children in the same Yiddishkeit that is non Jewish. We educate them to be selfish even though we give much tzedokah. We educate them in lack of tznius, even though supposedly Am Yisroel is more tzniusdik then any other Am. We educate them in truth but we really pull them to the lie; the lie being that the gashmius dressed up in Yidishkeit is the truth. But gashmius is the lie and Yiddishkeit is the truth and we must go back to the Yiddishkeit that once was, to the Yiddishekeit of out forefathers the greatest Tzadikim who lived on very little gashmius but on great amounts of Torah and truth and closeness to Hakodosh Boruch Hu. They were pure and modest with true modesty and true purity. The next months will bring upon the world many tremendous tragedies, worst than the last few years. The gashmius for most people will take an even greater fall and the world will become extremely dangerous as it has already become.
    Wake up Am Yisroel! This is all about you! Leiby is all about you! Search your souls, search your actions see where you are really lacking, change your ways. I don’t know if many of you are even capable of understanding this because you have strayed so far in your basic conceptions of Yiddishkeit that’s it’s hard for me to even visualize your coming back. Take the first step and I am sure Hakodosh Boruch hu will take you by the hand Kavyachol and lead you back to the right way.


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