Happiness

Day 2: KEEPING THE FAITH

Daily Reading

Daily Goals

Every human being craves happiness. People are more than willing to spend great sums of money in the hope of achieving happiness. Unfortunately, their efforts are usually in vain, because happiness cannot be bought. Luxurious homes, sumptuous feasts, and lavish occasions may provide transitory pleasures, but never true happiness.

Living with faith and trust in God can deliver the sought-for happiness. The reason more people do not achieve happiness is because they fall short of the requisite degree of faith and trust in God. We may worry about our financial future and the ability to provide for our families the way we would like, especially during economic downturns. When adversities occur, we are likely to become deeply dejected. A profound and unquestioning faith and trust in Divine benevolence will provide the serenity, security, and convictions that could eliminate these worries and sadness.

People have varying degrees of faith and trust. The higher their level, the lesser are their worries and sadness. If we were able to achieve complete faith and trust, our dispositions would be such that happiness would radiate from us. 

Today, be constantly conscious of the Godly lifeforce that permeates every being. Contemplate and deepen your understanding of G‑d, both as the Creator and sustainer of the world, and as a God who completely transcends creation. Strengthen your faith and trust in God by listing 3 challenging situations you’ve experienced where it was clear that He had your back.

Dr. Abraham J. Twerski

Daily Sources

MAIMONIDES' THIRTEEN PRINCIPLES
OF FAITH

The 13 Principles of Faith were codified by one of Judaism’s greatest scholars and philosophers, Maimonides. Through his trademark rationalist approach he summarized all of Jewish belief into a few pages. The 13 Ani Ma’amins, of unknown authorship, are statements of faith based on Maimonides’s 13 Principles.

1. I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the Creator and Guide of all created beings, and that He alone has made, does make, and will make all things.

Source: “I am God your God Exodus 20:2.

2. I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is One and Alone; that there is no oneness in any way like Him; and that He alone is our God—was, is and will be.

Source: “Hear O Israel, God is our God, God is One” Deuteronomy 6:4.

3. I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is incorporeal; that He is free from all anthropomorphic properties; and that He has no likeness at all.

Source: “You did not see any image on the day that God spoke to you at Horeb [Sinai].” Deuteronomy 4:15.

4. I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the first and the last.

Source: “[The heavens] are the abode for the God who precedes all” Deuteronomy 33:27.

5. I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, is the only one to whom it is proper to pray, and that it is inappropriate to pray to anyone else.

Source: “Lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven . . . and be drawn away to prostrate yourselves before them and worship them” Deuteronomy 4:19

6. I believe with complete faith that all the words of the prophets are true.

Source: “God will raise up a prophet from among you… and you shall hearken to him” Deuteronomy 18:15.

7. I believe with complete faith that the prophecy of Moses our teacher, peace unto him, was true; and that he was the father of the prophets, both of those who preceded and of those who followed him.

Source: “God would speak to Moses face to face” Exodus 33:11; “Mouth to mouth, I speak to him” Numbers 12:8.

8. I believe with complete faith that the whole Torah which we now possess was given to Moses, our teacher, peace unto him.

Source: “With this you shall know that God sent me to do all these deeds, for I did not devise them myself” Numbers 16:28.

9. I believe with complete faith that this Torah will not be changed, and that there will be no other Torah given by the Creator, blessed be His name.

Source: “You shall not add to it, not subtract from it” Deuteronomy 13:1.

10. I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, knows all the deeds and thoughts of human beings, as it is said, “It is He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who perceives all their actions.”

Source (in addition to Psalms 33:15 quoted in the actual text): “Who is great in counsel and mighty in carrying it out, for Your eyes are open to all the ways of mankind” Jeremiah 32:19; “God saw that the evil of man on earth was very great” Genesis 6:5.

11. I believe with complete faith that the Creator, blessed be His name, rewards those who observe His commandments, and punishes those who transgress His commandments.

Source: “And God said to Moses: ‘Whoever has sinned against Me, him I will erase from My book!'” Exodus 32:33.

12. I believe with complete faith in the coming of Moshiach, and although he may tarry, nevertheless, I wait every day for him to come.

Source: “G‑d will restore your fortunes, have mercy on you, and gather you” Deuteronomy 30:3.

13. I believe with complete faith that there will be resurrection of the dead at the time when it will be the will of the Creator, blessed be His name and exalted be His remembrance forever and ever.

Source: “Many who sleep in the dust shall awaken, some to everlasting life, and some to ever lasting shame and reproach” Daniel 12:2.

 

Daily Quotes

“He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery!”

– Anne Frank

“Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

– Abraham Lincoln

“Israel is the people that has always been sustained by faith, faith in God, in the future, in life itself.”

– Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Daily Videos

About this video

Faith is fundamental to Jewish identity.

Credits

Around CLE

We’ve brought Torah study to my company and I would encourage anyone who has that ability to do this. It’s an exciting part of my life, and I think It’s important that the Cleveland community make learning Torah an essential part of our everyday lives.

David Heller, Jewish Federation Board Chair Tweet

We’ve brought Torah study to my company and I would encourage anyone who has that ability to do this. It’s an exciting part of my life, and I think It’s important that the Cleveland community make learning Torah an essential part of our everyday lives.

David Heller, Jewish Federation Board Chair Tweet

Around CLE

Share It!

Get The Daily Elul Challenge In Your Inbox