JEWISH TEACHINGS ABOUT JOY AS A PRE-REQUISITE FOR WHOLESOME SPIRITUALITY
We got driven from our homeland and sovereignty: "Because you did not serve the Creator your God with GLADNESS"
(Deuteronomy 28: 47).
"The Revelation at Sinai came down in a language of joy" (Midrash Tanna D'Bei Eliyahu Rabbah, Ch. 13).
"The authentic spirit of Torah can be experienced only through gladness" (Midrash Tanna D'Bei Eliyahu Zutta,
Ch. 17 ).
"To be meaningful, the Torah needs to be practiced with delight and joy" (Midrash Vayikra Rabbah 34: 9).
"The Shechinah (Divine Presence) does not abide in an atmosphere of sullenness, only in one of gaiety" (Babylonian
Talmud, Shabbat 30b).
"Divine inspiration eludes an unhappy heart" (Jerusalem Talmud, Sukkah 5: 1).
"Says God: 'Rejoice in my precepts and I, too, will add further joy to yours" (Midrash Tanchuma, Tazria, Ch.
"Power and joyfulness dwell in the place where God dwells" (1 Chronicles 16: 27).
"Rabbi Papa said: 'In the dwelling place of God, there exists only joy" (Babylonian Talmud, Chagigah 5a).
From "Classical Sources for the Flexidoxic Relational Nature of Halachah, compiled and translated by Gershon Winkler.
"It is a great MITZVAH (sacred deed) to be in JOY always... When there is a defect in one's quality of joy, it leads
to illness... and it is through rejoicing that all illnesses are cured... The principle of the matter is that you should muster
all your powers (YES, YOU DO HAVE INNER POWERS!) to be always in a state of joy. For our nature is to incline toward being
depressive and sullen due to afflictions that befall us and to the circumstances of the moment, and everyone is filled with
troubles. Therefore, you need to move yourself with great effort toward becoming joyful always, and to gladden yourself with
whatever it is you can find, and even by means that appear silly. And while a broken heart, too, has its very positive qualities,
nevertheless it should be regulated only to a particularhour of the day, to break your heart and pour out your troubles to
the Source of Blessing, as is our tradition. But during the rest of the entire day, you should be in a state of joy!"
(18th century Rabbi Nachman of Breslav in "Likutei HaMaHaRaN Tanina, Chapter 24, para. 1 & 2).
From "Classical Sources for the Flexidoxic, Relational Nature of Halachah," Compiled and Translated by Gershon
Depression is often seen as "going alone into the darkness." What the Rebbe teaches is that in the Darkness, one
is not alone. In fact, it is in the Darkness that one can have the greatest experience of relationship with the Creator.
The Darkness of Depression is a false darkness. It is not that it is not real, but that it is an illusion of the mind
out of balance. It is not a place of the healthy mind. It is the state of an ill mind. Thus, depression can be helped by medications,
yoga, meditation and the prayers and blessings of Rebbes and friends.
One who is prone to depression must realize that they are ill and in need of a healing. They must be counseled to see
a medical doctor and to get on a treatment program. They must realize the importance of taking their medications as prescribed
by the doctor.
If the medications do not seem to be working, the person must TELL THEIR DOCTOR and get on to different medications. There
is medication combined with proper therapy that will help you overcome your depressive state. And remember, THE REBBE IS SAYING
HEALING PRAYERS FOR YOU EVERY DAY!
*** REB NACHMAN OF BRESLOV'S GENERAL REMEDY, ESPECIALLY FOR DEPRESSION***
Saying the following ten Psalms are a wonderful remedy for most problems, especially acute depression: Psalms 16, 32,
41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, 150. (Rabbi Nachman of Breslov)
These Ten Psalms equal the Ten different songs in the Psalms, the Ten Sephirot of Kabbalah, and the Ten Commandment Categories
in the Torah.
*AN APPALACHIAN SHAWNEE INDIAN REMEDY FOR DEPRESSION*
Take one bottle of natural Root Beer. Add one scoop of quality vanilla ice cream. Repeat as often as necessary.
*HERBAL REMEDY FOR MILD DEPRESSION*
Clove tea or brused cloves added to such herbal teas as chamomile, linden, or peppermint can often help lift a person
out of a mild depression. Thus, it is a good idea to use a clove or two in the tea of those who tend to be depressed.
*ANOTHER REB NACHMAN REMEDY*
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, who was often beset with severe bouts of depression, taught that the best remedy for depression
is to give to tsedakah, money to those worse off than yourself.
HOW CAN YOU HELP A FRIEND WHO IS HURTING?
YOU CAN LISTEN!
Let your friend tell you of his or her situation and his or her feelings. Don't give advice or feel obligated to find
simple solutions. LISTEN and try to imagine how you would feel in his or her place.
If your friend's words or actions scare you, tell him or her. If you're worried and don't know what to do, say so.
At times everyone feels sad, hurt, hopeless or depressed. You know what that's like - share your feelings. Let your friend
know he or she is not alone.
Take depression or suicide threats seriously! If you keep this secret you may lose your friend. Perhaps you and your friend
can think of a helpful adult, a councilor, or a clergy person, your friend can talk to. If not, find someone to talk to yourself.
Your friend turned to you because your friend trusts you to help. You CAN help, but not by yourself.
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP!