Shmuel Sackett
Shmuel SackettCourtesy

People, at least the ones I meet, are walking around these days depressed, disappointed and frustrated. Things in the Jewish community – both in Israel and throughout the world – have become quite challenging… and it’s taking its toll. Many of us are asking questions that don’t have good answers: What will happen with the hostages? When will rockets stop falling in Sderot and Kiryat Shemona? When will the world stop blaming Israel for everything? How bad will anti-Semitism get in America, Canada and Europe? Lots of questions… and very few answers.

Here's another question you can add to that list: How are Jews supposed to be happy during these challenging times? The Torah states that we will be punished for “not serving Hashem with happiness and a glad heart” (Devarim 28:47)… but it’s difficult. King David told us to serve Hashem with joy (Tehillim 100)… but it’s not easy. Rebbe Nachman said that it’s a great Mitzvah to be “b’Simcha Tamid” (always happy)… yeah, good luck with that one! With all that is happening – how do we do it?

I believe it’s a 2-step process. Step 1 is knowing and believing that if this is required of us, we will find a way. Hashem never – but never – commands us to do things that are impossible. Therefore, before proceeding to Step 2, you must accept this mission upon yourself; No matter what is broadcast over the news, no matter what you hear from neighbors, you will find a way to serve Hashem with happiness… however challenging that may be. Once that is done – and only when that is done - you may proceed to Step 2.

Step 2 is a change of mindset. It is obvious that you will not jump for joy after hearing about 5 soldiers killed in Gaza, nor should you.

Happiness for the Jewish community will be achieved when you realize that – despite the tragedies – we are blessed as one of the most unique people in the world. According to the World Population Clock, there are currently 8.1 billion people in the world. The official statistics of the Jewish Agency state that of those 8.1 billion, only 15.7 million are Jews. (Note: I find that 15.7 number very hard to believe, since they count all those who “identify” as Jews. My research states that the actual number of Jews in the world is closer to 13 million, but for the purpose of this article I will use the “official” Jewish Agency number of 15.7 million)

OK, let’s do some math. If there are 8.1 billion people in the world – of which 15.7 million are Jews – the total Jewish number is just 1 in 500. Think about that for a minute. Imagine 4,000 people in one place… that’s a lot of people! Statistically, however, only 8 of them will be Jewish – you can’t even get a minyan out of 4,000 people!

The one thing that is not reflected in the “1-in-500” number, however, is that this “1” is very special. This rare individual is the son, or daughter, of the King! Of course, the King doesn’t have a billion kids… who would want that? What makes things so special is the fact that the King has just a few special children. These children carry a very heavy responsibility; they dress, speak and act differently because their actions reflect the King himself. At times, things in the kingdom are difficult, especially when they are at war, but the Prince and Princess always know that their father the King will protect them. This gives them hope in the darkest of times and gladdens their heart because they trust their father completely.

Who is that lucky “1-in-500” Prince/Princess? It’s you – the one reading these words right now! You are a Jew/Jewess which makes you a child of the King! How can’t you be happy about that? That needs to excite you every second of the day… you are a Prince/Princess! Want even better news? Your Father, the King, is not just any King… He is the King of all Kings! What a privilege to be his son/daughter! This is how a Yid must think.

Does this make the news reports easier to listen to? Does this magically turn the recent tragedies into happy occasions? Of course not! It simply accomplishes one thing; It puts everything into a different perspective. You need to believe – and live your life – by the fact that your Father is the King and that He knows what’s best for you. This does not mean that things will always be easy or that you will understand what’s going on, but Our King will never let us fail.

The world hates the fact that He is our King and not theirs. Even without them knowing it, this is the source of their contempt… so they fight the children of the King. Despite the news, you need to stop worrying and start being happy… yes, happy! You beat the 500-1 odds – that’s a big payout in Vegas!! So let ‘em scream all they want. Let them condemn us and make their ridiculous demands. People say that it should go in one ear and out the other… but I disagree! Don’t even let it go in the first ear at all! Why should a Prince be bothered by some university professor? Why should a Princess lose sleep because of a UN vote? The King is writing everything down and will make His enemies pay dearly for their crimes.

Are these challenging times? Yes, most definitely, but our King is stronger than the rest of the world combined. We will do our part to defend and fight for His honor – and to protect the palace (Eretz Yisrael) and all members of the Royal Family (Jews worldwide) and He will make our efforts successful and victorious. “Hashem Melech – Hashem Malach – Hashem Yimloch Le’Olam Va’Ed!”

Knowing this has to make you happy!

Am Yisrael Chai!