You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. — Deuteronomy 28:3
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Ki Tavo, which means “when you have entered,” from Deuteronomy 26:1–29:8.
I have a wonderful husband who is always willing to run out to the grocery store, whether we need a full shopping trip or just a few things. However, there are plenty of times that he accidentally gets a few of the wrong items. (I know he isn’t the only spouse to do this!)
I could let this frustrate me, especially if it means changing my dinner plan at the last minute or needing to modify a favorite recipe. Yet, I decided long ago that I want to lead a happy life, and to do that, I need to focus on the positive. So, I choose to be happy that my husband runs countless errands for me – and allows me to get creative with my cooking!
In this week’s Torah reading, we learn that God will shower the Israelites with blessings when they remain obedient to Him. Among the list of blessings, we read, “You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.” This verse promises blessings in the towns, where the people live, and blessings out in the fields, where they work.
The Jewish sages noted that most people assume that when our work is blessed, producing abundance, then our home life will be blessed, filled with happiness and love. However, this Scripture teaches us that the opposite is true. The verse first mentions blessings in the city and then blessings in the country. This teaches us that when our homes and communities are filled with blessings – with love, peace, and joy – then our work will become blessed as well.
This teaching rings true on many levels. Just as earning a large salary can’t bring happiness to our home, having more possessions can’t bring happiness to our soul. Happiness is an inside job. It starts within us and inside our homes, and radiates out to everything around us, drawing blessings into our lives.
Many people go through life thinking that if only their circumstances were better, then they would be happy. But the truth is that happiness is a choice. And when we choose to be happy – when we choose to see the good in everything and everyone – we experience more joy and even more blessings.
In the comments below, list the blessings in your life that you are grateful for today. Notice how much happier you feel and how truly blessed you are.