On Wednesday, March 2nd, close to 1000 people gathered in Chicago to hear Rabbi Dr. Abraham J. Twerski speak on the topic of “Attaining Happiness.”
The event was one of the annual joint projects of all JLI chapters in the greater Chicago area. In addition to the JLI students from all chapters who attended, there were Jews from all walks of life who were newly introduced to the offerings and courses of JLI and many people signed up that night to attend a JLI course.
Rabbi Dr. Twerski’s fascinating talk addressed the misconception of happiness in today’s society, explaining that many people look for happiness in the wrong places or believe pleasure to be the vehicle to happiness. He explained that we can alter our approach to the “pursuit of happiness” so that instead of our human instincts dominating our persona and life interests, we can become partners in bettering the world and fulfilling G-d’s mission statement for humanity of “Let us make man.” We must all strive to become as fully human as we can being weary of excessive and unhealthy pursuits of pleasure that lead us away from true happiness.
His presentation included a PowerPoint of interesting comics that address issues of happiness and self esteem. Rabbi Dr. Twerski, who authored 5 books with the late Peanuts comic strips creator, Charles Schulz, showed how the wit and wisdom in the Peanuts comics offers tremendous insight into human psychology and what we can do about our shortcomings.
Participants at the event were refreshed by the down-to-earth nature of Rabbi Twerski’s talk that offered practical advice weaving thoughts from all areas of Torah, psychology and nature.
A powerful question and answer session followed, where people had the opportunity to ask deep personal questions of Rabbi Dr. Twerski and he addressed them with his unique wisdom and compassion.
The event was organized by the Jewish Learning Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, a division of Lubavitch Chabad of Illinois.
Video of the Lecture: