When He gives us the orange, it’s true He wants us to enjoy the orange. But there’s a bigger gift: The greatest benefit that we can gain in this world is the benefit of learning who Hashem is. That’s the greatest goodness there is. There’s no bigger benefit a man can learn in this world than emunah to believe and understand who Hashem is. – A Happy World (#371)
A person can’t be a truly frum Jew if he hates another frum Jew. Such a person inevitably starts looking for faults in his fellow Jews. That leads to thinking that frum Jews are no good in general, resulting in the seeds of apikorsus (heresy) being planted in his mind... A person who harbors ill-will towards people who serve Hashem should know that he himself is not really a frum Jew. — Ohr Avigdor Hakdama
Let’s say in Madison Square Garden they erect a huge stage, and they spend millions on the scenery and the lights, and a lot of people come to look. They're watching and waiting. And then the curtains are drawn, and they're waiting for the main character to step out on the stage. But at that time he's sitting somewhere in a bar,or he's home and he's sleeping. It’s all a waste.
This great universe is the stage where each one of us is the main actor. Don’t be confused by the thought that there are others, too. It’s for everyone individually. The entire universe: that’s your opportunity. — Foundation and Root (#228)
The eved Ivri should correctly be called eved Yisraeli, for in the language of the Jews the word Ivri is never used except when speaking to non-Jews. But the Israelite bondsman is called by the name that the Egyptians called our fathers in Egypt. Thus the eved Ivri is used by the Torah to commemorate the bondage of Israel in Egypt, and the Torah treatment of the “Hebrew slave” is a parallel demonstration of Hashem’s Compassion upon His people in Egypt. — A Nation is Born
If a man has no kavod at all, then no matter how pious he is you cannot trust him. When the Holy texts tell you to avoid kavod, it means you shouldn’t run after it. But everybody should have respect for kavod. That’s what we call self-respect. — Perils of Humility (#12)
Just as a man is dependent on the Creator to manage his affairs, so should a man consider himself responsible for the happiness and success of his wife and children, as if his house were the Universe and he (so to speak) were the Creator. That is the immense opportunity for achievement which a home offers, and that is the enormous responsibility which rests on the parent to make his home successful. — Awake, My Glory
When talking to your children, have the habit of praising tzadikim, the local Rabbis, the batai medrashim (study halls). Speak about fine frum Jews, how sweet it is to daven maariv, to learn Gemara. Hashem is happy when He sees people doing that. -- Five Minutes a Day
We must speak of Hashem’s love more than anything else. When people get together and talk about where they’ve traveled, or what kind of car or furniture they’ve bought, they’re wasting their emotions. These feelings of enthusiasm are given only for one purpose — “nagilah v’nismicha bach” (Shir Hashirim 1:4): to love Hashem and come as close as possible to Him. — Most Beautiful Nation
"Vayishma Yisro — Yisro hearkened" and he came. What did he hear? He heard what Hashem did to Egypt... Even though he knew that the Am Yisrael was the chosen nation, but what that meant he couldn’t appreciate until he heard of what had happened to Paroah...
Yisro was a gentile. But because of his ability to listen he was elevated and he is enthroned among the greatest in our history. — Repenting in Happiness (#17)
You want to know what it means to be oveid (serving) Hashem? Not a person who’s busy doing mitzvos, or even busy studying Torah. An oveid Hashem is one who has achieved the attitude of appreciating what Hashem has done and is doing for him, and he is completely humbled as a result. That’s called avodas Hashem. — Supreme Services (#35)
When a Yisrael is walking toward you, think: here comes the Shechina (Divine Presence). It’s an opportunity for you to become great, by learning to respect the kedusha (holiness) that hovers over his head. It makes no difference if he’s an old man, or a little boy or girl. The Shechina is resting on them all. — Five Minutes A Day
When the Jew was in his ghetto and took out his Gemara or Tehilim and spoke to Hashem, he felt that was the purpose of living; he felt he was drinking the true wine of genuine enjoyment of life. The purpose of life is to be close to Hashem. — Most Beautiful Nation
“If you do this [labor in Torah, even in poverty], how fortunate you are, and how good it is for you.” (Tehilim 128:2)
The mishnah explains: “How fortunate you are in this world.” (Brachos 8a) The Orthodox Jew who lives according to the ancient ways of the Jewish people is an optimistic and happy person. (This expression appears again and again in Tanach: “How happy is the nation… How happy is Yisrael…”) — Most Beautiful Nation
The Jew must bestir his ancient greatness and he must learn the glory of his Torah and his people. But first it is essential that he recognises the emptiness of the ideologies and institutions of the nations of the world. When the mind is swept clean of the frivolities and affectations and misconceptions, it can become a proper receptacle for the great verities of Torah. — Awake, My Glory
"And behold I am strengthening the heart of Egypt, and they shall come after them." (Shemos 14:17)
“In the way that a man wishes to go, he is led (by Hashem)” (Makos 10B). The leaders of Egypt, although they had been forced by the Plagues to send Israel free, were still desirous of revenge and perhaps of recapturing Israel. Therefore Hashem led them on to become the means of achieving in the world a greater Awareness of Hashem. The wish of the Egyptians led to their destruction. — A Nation is Born
All fruits and vegetables when ripe are easier to separate from the stalk or tree. All fruits and vegetables when ripe are easier to peel. This is a clear demonstration of intentional purpose: they were produced in order to be eaten and in order that their seeds be returned to the soil. Could such arrangements fortuitously occur, and could they ""happen"" again and again to every species of fruit and vegetable? — Awake, My Glory
Spend five minutes thinking, “How can I do things that’ll improve my character, perfect my midos, my derech eretz?” Tikun hamidos (improving character traits) is one of the major accomplishments in this world. You’ll be rewarded forever and ever. — Five Minutes A Day
Life is full of happiness, though it’s human nature to never be satisfied.
Why did Hashem create only human beings with such a flaw in this mechanism? After all, animals don’t express dissatisfaction. The answer is that human beings are created with a yearning to see Hashem. They once saw Him before they were born, and want to see Him again. If they cannot, they won’t be satisfied. — Most Beautiful Nation
The Mishna (Avos 1:17) declares: “All my life I grew up among the Sages, and I found nothing better for the body than Silence.” We note that this is recommended as the best for the body, although it is unquestionably extremely beneficial for the Soul...
How much suffering and grief can be avoided by silence at the right moment! And how great will be the eternal reward for the one who refrained from retorting! — Career of Happiness
We should not lose sight of the eventual goal of everything, and that is "Vayadata hayom v’hasheivosa el levavecha ki Hashem hu haElokim." You’ll say, Isn’t that superfluous: "You should know today that Hashem is G-d"!?
Yet we see it’s a command because that should be our permanent function in this world. We must combat all the phenomena of materialism in order to return to the ancient attitude when everybody saw Hashem with their eyes. — Return To Hashem (#842)
"And Pharaoh arose at night..." (Shmos 12:30)
Kings do not arise at night to leave their palaces. But when Hashem decrees, even a king arises at night to do His bidding... It was thus demonstrated that it was not Pharaoh but Hashem that had kept them in Egypt, just as it was not Pharaoh but Hashem that released them from Egypt. — Zichron Avner Hagada
When I was a boy, I was once walking in the street between two European Jews who had just left shul. One of the men said, “Ah, did I just daven a delicious Maariv.” For him, happiness was davening. You can also have happiness from doing kindnesses for people. All kinds of happiness result from serving Hashem. — Most Beautiful Nation
“Our soul hopes to Hashem; He is our help and our shield” (Tehillim 33:20).
Every step, stratagem and undertaking must be prefaced with a prayer to Hashem for success. Despite our energetic efforts, we look solely to him to prosper our plans of success (He is our help) and to prosper our precautions against misfortune (He is our shield). — Career of Happiness