Many people in today’s society become depressed, filled with anxiety, some contemplate going on anti depressants and many people feel there is something wrong with them……they are upset why they have problems and why they are not able to function properly.   But in reality, there is nothing wrong with the majority of people.  They simply are unable to cope with the world today and the confusion that exists. 

Society encourages people to constantly buy things: the more one purchases, the more they should become happy.  But that is not the case. People buy more shoes and more clothes and more things and they accumulate more materialism, but happiness eludes them.  The western society wants people to spend money constantly and keep buying. The strategy of American society is to isolate people, separate families, and tell people to go on their own .  People become lonely, depressed and feel they are only worth something if they make a lot of money and are successful. Otherwise they feel like failures.

People no longer know how to be happy.

People no longer know how to live together with their families and friends and enjoy life.

People think all that matters is to work more, make more money, spend more money…..but people waste their lives and in the end they regret that they did not enjoy life, did not spend time with their children and spouses, and did not pursue more spiritual matters. 

What is the solution?  Part of the solution is to educate ourselves and our children about the vanity of buying constantly and spending money, and to be an example instead of how to enjoy life together, be busy with valuable matters, emphasize the spiritual over the material and find meaning in life.

One way to internalize these values comes with the holiday of Succot. We leave our comfortable homes and spend an entire week dwelling in our temporary succahs.  This emphasizes to us how temporary this world is and how materialism does not bring happiness.

And, surprisingly enough, the holiday of Succot is the holiday most associated with joy on the Jewish calendar.  The idea is that we realize we can do with far less materially and yet rejoice in a simple temporary succah together with friends and family. The Succot holiday emphasizes oneness, togetherness and happiness.  

So any time you may feel a bit down, remember: you are okay, today’s society is not!