The Amazing Conclusion of the Torah
I have been catching up watching episodes of Ancient Jewish Wisdom, a TCT
cable program, with Rabbi Daniel Lapin and his wife Susan. Recently, Lapin
has stated in several programs that the Torah commands us (Jews and the rest of
us) to be happy.
But, Lapin did not cite the verse that contains the command to be happy. So,
there I was, I had to find it. My Strong’s concordance provided no help to locate
the verse with the command to be happy. So…I thought, I have to re-read
Deuteronomy, where is probably the greatest chance of finding this command.
But, the kicker is, I had to read the New Jewish Publication Society 1985
translation of the Torah, to locate it. The word “happy” is not used in my copy
of the New American Bible, in the verse that Lapin was referring to.
OK, here it is. I was reading the NJPS Deuteronomy which is contained in The
Jewish Study Bible (Oxford University Press).
Deut 12:18 (NJPS Tanakh) These you must consume before the LORD your God
in the place that the LORD your God will choose --you and your sons and your
daughters, your male and female slaves, and the Levite in your settlements –
happy before the LORD your God in all your undertakings.
The New American Bible translates the ending of this verse as "you shall make
merry over all your undertakings."
Now, seriously, did anybody ever teach you that you should be either happy or
otherwise make merry over all your undertakings? and, why should you be
happy or make merry over such?
This discovery makes me happy that I now know what R. Lapin was probably
talking about, because here it is, a command to be happy. I only needed to find
one command to be happy, and here it is.
But, I did not stop reading Deuteronomy, and that made me scripturally happy.
See next post.