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CODE TO JOY - COURSE OVERVIEW

Code to Joy, is based on a simple premise:

Happiness isn't just something that happens to you; it's an approach, an attitude, an understanding of the world and your place in it - it's something you do, a code that you can crack.

Through seven classes, step-by-step, Code to Joy explores some of the underlying ideas and beliefs that sustain a truly joyful life. Fusing classic Jewish concepts with the panoramic perspective of Chassidic thought, along with a sprinkling of insights and research from modern psychology, you'll learn how to find self-acceptance without complacency, to confront the past without being burdened by it, to be comforted by faith without being confined by it, to give to others and gain even more, and so much more. 

Lesson One - Just Over Yonder?
Happiness isn't just around the corner, over the hill, or the day after tomorrow: It can be here, right now, as you are. That doesn't mean just ignoring our personal circumstances, but learning to really appreciate what we have in life. But is it really true that nicer things don't make you happier?

Lesson Two - Journey of Yourself:
The Code to Joy starts with you - and how you look at yourself. That's why working on our self-concept is so vital. Two pole Jewish principles can serve as our guides: Life is meaningful, and I matter - but it isn't all about me. How can we learn to love ourselves, without getting stuck on ourselves?

Lesson Three - Job Opening: You!
Each of us matter, because each of us has been sent into this world for a particular purpose - for a kind of mission. Rather than stifling our individuality, a holistic religious life means channeling ourselves in a relationship with the divine. The tools of Kabbalah can help us learn more about ourselves, but how do we work out what our personal life mission is?

Lesson Four - Journey from Oy to Yay!
Sure you're Jewish, but that doesn't mean you have to worry so much! The belief in a loving G‑d that pays attention to, protects, and provides for His people ought to inspire a sense of calm, and of trust in the One Above - Bitachon. But is it really possible to decide how to feel?

Lesson Five - Judging Ourselves? Yes!
Ever look into the mirror, and all you see are your own flaws and failures, your mistakes and missed opportunities? How can I ever feel whole when I'm missing so much? But Judaism doesn't demand perfection. The radical doctrine of Teshuvah says that we can make amends for the past, while the Chassidic thought teaches us to see the relentless struggle with the self as a sublime source of fulfillment. Is it possible to be happy if I'm unsatisfied with myself?

Lesson Six - Joining Others = Yields:
The road to joy is easier when you don't go it alone. Friends and family can help us deal with pain, to see the world in a brighter light, and give purpose to our lives. And yet, social science confirms that loneliness, disconnection, and division are on the rise. On a personal level, how do we develop sustainable, healthy relationships?

Lesson Seven - Jew's Ongoing Yearning:
Too often we forget that Judaism is itself supposed to be a joyful experience - not despite the many duties and strictures that come with keeping the Torah, but because of them. Does religion make people happier, or just more repressed?