Sunny "Simcha" in a Sad Time

Monday, July 28, 2014

Today marks the first day of the Jewish month of Av and the beginning of what we call The 9 Days, a time that has historically been full of tragedy for the Jewish people. And it is no coincidence that the insanity that has been going on in Israel, in the media, and in the entire world, of late, is happening during this time.

But I want to move away from sadness and depressing news stories. I don't want to get into any more political debates. I just want to share with you what I learned the day my youngest child, Simi, was born. We wanted to name her after my husband's grandmother, Rivka Rachel (a wonderfu women), but my name in Hebrew is Shifra Rachel and our custom is not to name a child with the same name as a parent. So we needed to find a name to replace Rachel.

She was born Shabbos afternoon, exactly 13 years ago today, on the first of Av,  and my husband walked to shul from the hospital for Mincha (afternoon prayers), where he listened to a beautiful talk by the Rabbi.

"What is the antidote to these tragic times?" the Rabbi asked. The answer seemed counter intuitive: To be B'Simcha, to be happy. And if you didn't know, it is actually a mitzvah to be happy (that's Judaism for you). He said that if we could just be happy with what we have, and realize (as my son recently said to me) that G-d 'has our back', we could conquer jealously and hate. And hate is the cause of all of our misery and destruction.

And so, we decided to name 'Simi', Rivka Simcha, the name of her great grandmother, infused with the addition of joyfulness. I learned that although we should mourn for past tragedies, we must try to continue to live our lives joyfully...not in a meaningless, superficial way, but in a grateful and appreciative way.

So today, on this day that begins a traditionally scary time for Jews, I'd like to remind you all that we need to continue on with joy. We need to have faith and gratitude for what we do have. We need to focus on the positive and stay positive. And in that merit may these days become joyous ones.

So against my instinct to be sad, mournful and scared at what is unfolding in the world, I present a sunny post to inspire. If we can be joyous for the little things in life, we will have the energy to rise above the depressing undertow that is trying to pull us down.  And then we can rise above with faith and prayer, and hopefully a solution that will bring peace and love to the world.

Here are some things I am grateful for today:

The sun that rises no matter what....

The clothing that express my inner self and make me feel beautiful...
Buy similar skirt HERE, buy similar blouse HERE, buy similar shoes HERE

A comfortable home...

The beautiful world around us...

Your kind words and friendship...

My family...

G-d's miracles and the ability to see them...

What are you grateful for? Please leave a comment below and let me know. Let's spread the positivity and change the world!

With love,


Note: Please say a prayer for my son Aaron Tzvi Avigdor ben Shifra Rochel and my nephew Tzvi Ariel ben Basya Yisroela who are currently fighting for peace and democracy in the Middle East. And I don't want to hear one comment about the real terrorist being the IDF...they are the most humane army in the world. What would you do if terrorists were shooting rockets at you and your family day and night while using funds and supplies that were given for building resources for FREEDOM to build terror tunnels into your backyards? What would you do if same terrorists were using their own children as human shields? What would you do if so called civilians were women and children who are trained terrorists and who have no fear of death and only the wish for your death? Or if the real innocent civilians were beaten if they tried to leave the pre-warned targeted areas full of weapons?

Damn! I didn't want to get political. But use your brains people.  Have you seen a Jewish rally? (peaceful) Have you seen a pro-Palestinian rally? (violent) Has the world gone mad? Why are people defending terrorists and not the only democratic, FREE country in the Middle East? Palestine could have been free if not for their terrorist government. Israel pulled out their own people from their beautiful and prosperous agricultural communities and gave that land to the Palestinians. And what did they do with it? They built a land of terror. Stop blaming the Jews. Jewish people hate violence. Seriously we've had enough of that. Use your brains. The end.

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  1. It's such a terrible time and never have I known a political incident cause so much divisiveness. I am just a half korean half australian lapsed catholic but it still breaks my heart at this deadlock of a situation. I pray for the safety of your beautiful family x

  2. You have such a beautiful family. I will pray for the safety for sure, the safety of everyone there in the midst of this terrible time. It does so break my heart to see images of it all in the papers on tv. I feel the children are suffering the most with this, not a life they deserve, so I pray for them always. I hope there will be some peace. All the yellow is wonderful and does much to lift the spirits, such a happy colour. I hope you have a great week doll. Love to you and your family Xxxx

  3. Wow! What a beautiful and thought-provoking post Sharon. So sad to hear your son is fighting for freedom in the Middle East. You must be proud but sick with worry every single day. I have a lot of Jewish friends here in the UK.I live in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood here, and I am sending prayers and hugs to you and your family xx

  4. Thank you Sharon for adding so much beauty and joy to this world that is truly wondrous. Now if every person on earth would do so. My prayers are with your family.

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  5. I love you Sharon and I love this post!!! You are the most honest, real, inspiring and positive person I know!! So proud to call you my friend!! I honestly don't know how you're keeping it together and doing so with such grace and eloquence!! Thank you for sharing you're beautiful personal thoughts and feelings with all of us!! You truly are an amazing woman!! I will be praying for Aaron, your entire family and the peace that we so desperately want and need but so sadly eludes us! Xo

  6. Once again you find a way to bring light to a dark place. Thank you for this infusion of positivity and hope. It must be so trying for you and I am davening with all my heart that your family remains safe. Hashem please protect us in this world that has gone mad.
    All my love and tefillos,

  7. I am adding your brave family members to my tehillim list, along with the soldier I adopted through The Shmira Project.

    May Hashem protect us all with the wings of the Shechina, and may we soon know no more worry or sorrow. May Moshiach come SOON and in our days!

    Much love to you, beautiful lady.

  8. I have learned so much by following your blog - thank you.
    You are inspiring.

    My prayers are with your brave boys.

  9. Ahhhh, Sharon, happy birthday to your lovely daughter! And, yes, we all feel sad with the madness in the Middle East. Seriously? How much longer can this hatred be sustained?
    The mother's are the only ones who can raise children to understand that love & peace are wanted by everyone the world over. It's God's plan. Until we get it right the Earth will continue to suffer.

  10. this is absolutely one of the sweetest posts I've ever read!

  11. this is absolutely one of the sweetest posts I've ever read!

  12. I am not sure how I stumbled upon this beautiful post, but I'm glad I did! It was just what I needed to read today. Thank you for your positivity and bright spirit!