“Quoted by Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz AKA Schwartzie”
One can look at the tasks required to raise healthy, independent children (cleaning, cooking, diaper changing and bed making etc.) as chores, as things I have to do. Alternatively, one can look at them as something to celebrate! If I choose to celebrate raising children than I am not cleaning, I am raising children who are responsible, I am not making beds, I am creating a generation that values being neat.
When we treat the tasks we need to do with an excitement and happiness, those who look up to us want to follow in this path. When we view it as a chore, we risk imparting the feeling of “do as much of it as we absolutely have to to survive” and “get away with as little as you can”.
The same thing is with Judaism. When we just observe Judaism, without celebrating it, we sometimes do as little as we can get away with. Think about the message we are giving off? In the modern world, how little observance can i get away with “observing Judaism” and still say i am involved. What is the minimum i can get away with? Can i get away with less?
However, when we celebrate Judaism, while we may be doing the same mitzvah, it’s a whole different experience. The celebrating of the mitzvah shows us and those around us that Judaism isn’t something imposed upon us, but an expression of ourselves, our inner core. We are showing how to celebrate Judaism as much as we can! After all, if my soul wants to celebrate Judaism, and my sould is my core identiy. who doesn’t want to celebrate themselves.
So focus on the JOY instead of the OY!
Have a great Shabbos!
P.S. to sum it up, replace “S’iz shver tzu zein a Yid” (It’s hard to be a Jew) with “S’iz gut tzu zein a Yid” (It’s good to be a Jew).
“S’iz shver tzu zein a Yid” was coined in 1920 Yiddish-language comedy play by Sholom Aleichem and the Lubavitcher Rebbe encouraged people to replace it with with “S’iz gut tzu zein a Yid”
Rabbi Mendel Schusterman
Thanks to my brother, Rabbi Nechemia Schusterman, Chabad Peabody, Massachusetts, for sharing the above thought.