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Parashat Vayeria – Happily Stuck in Traffic


“You’ve got a huge debt, a tough boss, and you’re stuck in traffic, why in the world are you smiling?”

“If I would have a surplus in the bank, be the owner of my company, and fly home in a helicopter, would I then be automatically happy…?

“You are telling me what I don’t have. Well, let me tell you what I do have, and why I do feel happy. I have great friends. I truly feel for them, and they feel for me. I just heard how my friend finally had a child. They’ve been waiting a long time. The joy I feel has spilled over into the smile you see on my face!”

Inviting others into our world is a recipe for happiness.

Why? Because the joy one has in swapping a taxi into a private chauffeur, dissipates in the face of a helicopter ride. There’s always something bigger and better than what we have. There’s always a higher rung to climb on the ladder of comfort. But, that doesn’t really satisfy our soul. We crave connection.

Imagine if we lived on an island with all the comforts of life, but alone. It would leave us with an empty feeling. Sure, our bodies would feel comfortable, but our souls would be hungry.

Opening ourselves up to those around us, appreciating their life, and connecting to them, leaves us with a unique feeling. We transcend living in “my story” and start to live in “our story”. A relationship is a connection.

That is why the simple act of saying hello to a neighbor or giving a listening ear to a colleague can actually be our ticket to happiness.

Our Rabbis teaches us that we can’t truly love ourselves if we haven’t learned how to love others!

Shabbat Shalom

Rabbi Mendy