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Want More Happiness And Fulfillment ? Be A Person Of Value.

Not seeking religious belonging but valuable spiritual guidance is becoming a core issue for many people in order to live a better life. Rabbi Cheryl and Andrew Jacobs are making wonderful waves on that front. Their guidance for people of all religions (and none)  has become much appreciated beyond their own Florida community and extended to all types of media. We wanted to get some simple advice on the seemingly complicated question: Is there a simple path to living a happier, more fulfilled life? If yes, what is it?  Here is what Cheryl and Andrew had to say….

Months before he passed away, Albert Einstein was asked by a much younger visitor to give some insight into the meaning and purpose of life.
 
“Try not to become a man of success,” Einstein told the visitor, “rather try to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives.”
 
In our world today, happiness and fulfillment are defined by success, and how successful a person is, is based not on what they give back to the world, but what they receive. And this is not the path to happiness. The wise Einstein understood what so many of us are learning – that leaving a meaningful and lasting mark on this world requires looking beyond ourselves; giving selflessly of ourselves, giving not with the hope of receiving anything – just giving because we can make a difference.
 
You might remember the “Open Happiness” Coca Cola campaign that began in 2009. The words “Open Happiness” were prominently featured in the campaign’s ads, giving off the carbonated bubbles that are an integral part of Coke. The marketing geniuses at Coca Cola defined these carbonated bubbles as the carriers of happiness. Once unleashed from an open bottle of the famous soft drink, the bubbles were free to travel the world and share joy with all they came in contact with. The ad was captivating and meaningful – you could watch these carbonated bubbles spreading happiness from one person to another. It showed that something simple had the power to bring joy into another’s life. Interestingly enough, on a very simplistic level, this ad campaign showed how happiness is shared.
 
Many times in today’s world, we think we are laser focused on healing the world. As we rush from moment to moment and activity to activity, we’re encouraged to take a break from the stress associated with the quest for success. We’re told to breathe. We’re told to take time to express our gratitude. We’re encouraged to meditate, do yoga, exercise and be mindful. While all of these exercises have meaning and purpose, let’s be honest: we’re supposed to engage in them so that we can recharge our personal batteries and double down on our efforts to become a success. When we take those few minutes to pause from the daily grind, we do so because we’re taught that in order to be successful, it’s important to invest in ourselves, to live in our moment, to take time for self-care, in doing everything possible to bring about self-fulfillment. However, with respect to self care, who’s world are we trying to heal?
 

With all the pain, loss, sorrow and brokenness outside of our immediate circle but very much a part of this world, we need to smash this stereotype of success and listen to the wisdom of Einstein. We can become glorious, yet fleeting success stories by breathing, meditating and being present while we give just enough to reap the rewards that come with success…or we can dig deeper. We can do the spiritual work that gives us the ability to connect with those spiritual bubbles that lie at our core – the sparks of holiness that live within each of us. We can do the sacred work that empowers us to open our hearts and souls to the universe and let these sparks fly – not with the hope of getting something in return, but with the realization that by giving of ourselves like this, in a way that transcends moments of gratitude, yoga stretches and meditative mindfulness, we discover that our sparks have the power change the lives of others, bring light to darkness and truly transform the world. This kind of transformation is not fleeting. It’s not “success”. It’s an investment in something so much bigger than we are. It’s about understanding what really matters. It’s about becoming a person of value. And it’s how you change the world.

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About Cheryl and Andrew Jacobs:

Rabbi Cheryl Jacobs

Background: Cheryl is passionate about helping others on their journey towards spiritual fulfilment. Having spent many years on her own spiritual journey, Cheryl majored in Religious Studies at Hobart William Smith Colleges. She received a Master’s of Divinity from Yale University and her Rabbinic Ordination from The Jewish Theological Seminary. Cheryl is a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. She is committed to empowering and enabling others to discover their best selves and is dedicated to investing in and caring about all individuals without judgment. Her goal is to always strive to understand her fellow spiritual seekers in order to provide what they want and need, while making them feel comfortable, connected and fulfilled. Cheryl makes herself available to anyone seeking spiritual guidance and direction. She is an incredible teacher and pastoral counselor. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to have had her officiate at a lifecycle event can tell you how very special she is. Cheryl and her husband, Andrew, are the parents of Abigail and Jonah.

Rabbi Andrew Jacobs

Background: Andrew is honored to serve as the Rabbi of Ramat Shalom Synagogue in Plantation, Florida. He has been with Ramat Shalom for 13 years and is blessed to be part of such a warm, vibrant community. While he believes that synagogues and churches have much to offer their congregants, for the past several years, Andrew has grown to appreciate that there is a need for new, fresh ways for folks to connect to spirituality. ISH is a product of this appreciation. Andrew majored in Jewish-Christian Relations at Vassar College, earned his Master’s Degree in Jewish Art and Material Culture from The Jewish Theological Seminary and received his Rabbinic Ordination from The Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He is a Rabbis Without Borders Fellow. While continuing to serve as the spiritual leader of Ramat Shalom, Andrew teaches courses and leads special program for ISH. He considers himself blessed to be married to his wife, Cheryl, and to be the father of his children, Abigail and Jonah.

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