Harvard http://www.businessinsider.com/grant-study-reveals-what-makes-us-happy-2013-4 spent seventy five years to find out what makes a happy life. It’s one of the longest-running studies on human development, and recently, George Vaillant, who directed the study for over thirty of the seventy five years, published Triumphs of Experience, a summary of everything researchers learned in the study.
Some of it is obvious: alcoholism is bad (mmmmkay), being a genius doesn’t make you happy, and having a warm childhood relationship with your mom and dad is going to help you in the long run.
For all the quirky, funny things the study looked into (example: your politics has nothing to do with your happiness), the thing the study overwhelmingly proved is that relationships matter. The warmth and depth of your relationships correlates with your happiness. The more fulfilling your relationships with others, the more fulfilling your life will be.
Life is a journey. And the best journeys we go on are the ones with our friends. Judaism, through the study of the Torah, gives us a weekly journey with our friends the Jewish people, and with the personalities of the matriarchs, patriarchs and prophets.
Hope the double portion of Parshah Behar-Bechukotai provides you a warm, fun relationship with Judaism and your Jewish journey.
Dominion, Heads or Tails and Taxes – Circle Pit the Bimah
Richard Dawkins and the Number Seven