Historically, rabbis have proclaimed that in order to study kabbalah, one has to be a learned Jewish man older than of 40. So imagine how surprised those rabbis would be today if they could peruse a modern bookstore: There are now a plethora of tomes on the subject, making kabbalah available to the layperson -- male, female, Jew and non-Jew -- the dummy and idiot alike (which is it better to be?).
Yes, take a breath.
"One, long deliberate breath that you feel from the very beginning of it until the end of it. Try it, really. You can do it with your eyes open. You can do it while reading these instructions. Do you notice that you can feel your body, and especially your chest expanding and relaxing to accommodate the air flowing in and out, without stopping reading?"
List of 10 books about happiness.
Anyway, what does it mean to be happy? Does it mean to experience constant pleasure? Bouts of joy? Moments of ecstasy? Does it mean to suffer no pain? Never be sad? Never struggle with challenges? Whatever it is, how does one get happy? It's a High Holy Days challenge if ever there were one, since if we all lived happier lives, wouldn't the world be a better place?
"Ladies and gentlemen, Rabbi Aryeh Pamensky holds the secret to your incredible, unbelievable and unparalleled happiness," announces the emcee in a dimly lit nightspot where hundreds of Jews are gathered, each hoping to attain what half of Americans find unattainable: a happy marriage."
Self-help books are essential tools.
When you're still "flying solo" and your 35thbirthday comes a-knocking, suddenly, the pitifully comic titlescrowding the self-help shelves of your bookstore seem less like jokebooks and more like required reading.