Weekly Letter: Why Someone Would Lack Happiness in Their Life

At the start of the joyous month of Adar, when we increase in Simcha – we share a letter of the Rebbe with advice to someone who feels a “lack of happiness in my life.” The letter, written originally in English, is from the archives of the Rebbe’s trusted secretary Rabbi Nissan Mindel.

By the Grace of G-d
9th of Sivan, 5741
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Beverly Hills, Ca. 90212
Greeting and Blessing:
After not hearing from you for some time, although I have been inquiring about you in the interim through our mutual friends, I was pleased to receive your letter. I regret that due to pressure of duties, my acknowledgement has been overly delayed.
Thank you for the good news your letter contained, and I trust that you will have good news to report also in regard to matters where a substantial improvement is still anticipated.
With regard to the problem you mention about the “lack of happiness in my life” – this is rather surprising. A Jew who conducts his day to day life Jewishly, putting on tefillin and doing other mitzvot, and participating in activities to spread and strengthen Yiddishkeit, should certainly feel a deep sense of inner peace and harmony, which are among the most basic ingredients of true happiness. If, nevertheless, there is a feeling of a lack of happiness, the explanation may be one of two possibilities: Either the person instinctively feels that he is not fully utilizing the capacities with which he has been endowed. This would naturally create a feeling of only a partial fulfillment. Or, if this is not the case, the whole thing is altogether one of the tricks of the yetzer Hhora, whose job it is to distract a Jew from doing what he has to do, mostly by exaggerating or minimizing certain aspects. In most cases that have come to my attention, the above seem to be the accurate explanation, with the difference that in some cases, the first factor predominated, and in other cases, the second factor predominated, with various gradations in between.
I trust that when you reflect on the above, you will come to the conclusion that you have every good reason to be happy in your life, thank G-d. Moreover, as you will analyze your situation and ascertain which of the above mentioned factors has been the cause of your dissatisfaction, you will know what you have to do to overcome the problem. For certain it is that whatever problem a Jew faces, G-d has provided him beforehand with the necessary capacities to overcome it.
I trust you and your family had an enjoyable and inspiring Yom Tov of Kabolas HaTorah and may the joy and inspiration of it be with you and yours throughout the year.
With blessing,

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