Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rabbi Akiva Tatz on Being Happy Without Being Callous

A commenter on yesterday's link to my Q&A session with ASJ gave us a link to a shiur by Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz on the exact topic of that post. In my answer to ASJ, I posed the difficulty of trying to be happy while not being callus and indifferent to the pain of others. In this shiur, Rabbi Tatz gives over the basic principle about what exactly the Jewish idea of happiness is and how it is attained. It is a very important shiur.

His bottom line is different somewhat from Rabbi Jonathan Rietti's oft-given shiur entitled "Who is Responsible for My Happiness" though. (Incidentally, you can see a power point presentation that I prepared a few years ago inspired by that shiur, which you can listen to here.) You can also get many other of Rabbi Tatz's shiur at his website SimpleToRemember.com.

Rabbi Akiva Tatz: Happiness

-Dixie Yid

(Picture courtesy of Tatz.cc)

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Anonymous said...

forgive me but I notice constantly that you use principal instead of principle wrongly

for your own good, esp. as a lawyer, please learn where each is applied :)

feel free to erase this post

DixieYid (جنوب يهودي) said...


You know the principal/principle distinction was a recurring problem in my Student Note as well (which I corrected). But it's hard for me to remember since it's not picked up by spell check. Gotta work on that!

-Dixie Yid

Leora said...

Um.... since we're talking about spelling:

DixieYid, you used "principle" correctly! Ch-ching for you!
As for "callous," that's another story! But it was a cute misspelling.... if a bit unsavory. Keep up the good work, anyhow!

DixieYid (جنوب يهودي) said...


Thanks for the comment. Actually, Anon was right. I just corrected it after getting that comment. Just like I just corrected the spelling on "callous." Thanks for that! Thanks for the chizuk!

-Dixie Yid

Shorty said...

Thanks for the presentation!

I do believe Happiness is a choice. WE choose and can control how we react. It is just we have forgotten that Hashem did indeed give us choice. We get into bad habits of over reacting (and over wanting for that matter).

thanks again for the reminder!

yehudis said...

The best Torah I have ever learned about this subject is found in Likutei Halachos, Hilchos Beitzim #5.
It explains the inner meaning of why eggs from a kosher species have to have a round end and a pointy end, in addition to knowing that they are from a bird that has a proper mesorah. The concept of "kad v'chad" is tied up with the Jewish skill of simultaneously mourning (the round end) and having hischazkus (the pointy end) that is rooted in joy. They do not contradict one another at all-quite the contrary. You cannot live as a Jew without both. It is a deep lesson and first requires review of a short but complex piece in Likutei Moharan, but for those who study Chassidus, I highly recommend it. I always teach it in preparation for the three weeks.

DixieYid (جنوب يهودي) said...

Rebbetzin Golshevsky,

Thank you for that ma'areh makom! B"H, someone gave me a copy of Likutei Halachos so I'll try to make sure and see that piece. I very much appreciate it!

-Dixie Yid

yehudis said...


Shorty said...

I'm not sure if you saw, but i did respond more fully in The Simple Jew...

Good Shabbos!