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I really enjoy being Jewish, most of the time, but let's be honest, sometimes it can be difficult to enjoy Judaism. Sometimes it's the little things, like having to wait those extra minutes to eat dairy, and sometimes it's the big things, like not wanting to abide by a million rules every single day. Furthermore, as a parent, I know it's important to model exciting and enthusiastic Judaism for my kids, not just bland rule adherence. Not to mention my fear of Devarim 28:47 - תַּחַת, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-עָבַדְתָּ אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּשִׂמְחָה, וּבְטוּב לֵבָב--מֵרֹב, כֹּל.

Rolling all these things up I realize how important it is to enthusiastically enjoy Judaism. But I'm also finding it harder and harder to do. What are some tried-and-true suggestions for how to combat this based on your own expertise or sourced statements from our tradition?

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What are you afraid of in that pasuk? Are you not serving God while your life-situation is in a good place? Where do you see anything about enjoyment? – Double AA Dec 28 '12 at 14:41
@DoubleAA whatever the case, I don't believe this in integral to my original question – not-allowed to change my name Dec 28 '12 at 15:04
@DoubleAA I have to say I would also be really eager to hear your answer to the main question itself – not-allowed to change my name Dec 28 '12 at 15:11
For what it's worth, this is what I once wrote on this topic: shesileizeisim.blogspot.com/2012/09/… – LazerA Dec 28 '12 at 17:59
@DoubleAA btw, See Rambam, Halacha 15 here mechon-mamre.org/i/3608.htm#15 – HodofHod Dec 28 '12 at 21:24

That reminds me of the anecdote from Rabbi Emanuel Feldman's book, Tales Out of Shul. A woman once told him, "Rabbi, I'm really not enjoying this week of mourning."

Not everything in life (or Judaism) has to be enjoyable. Nor is it meant to be. At least not in the immediate gratification, self-centered sense of the word. Sometimes your enjoyment should not be based on your enjoyment, but on someone else's enjoyment.

Really, enjoyment of life (or Judaism) depends on your outlook. You can think "Oy, I've got jury duty" or you can think "Thank G-d I live in a country where there are juries, and not a country where the courts are a sham or even nonexistent." You can think "Oy, I can't eat that tasty chazzer" or you can think "Wait a second, G-d recreates me every moment. He's given me a mission and hence, a purpose. I'm an essential part of the greatest achievement humankind will ever be part of! And all I have to do is not eat the ham and have a steak instead? Score!"

Also, shop around. Different flavors of Judaism have different perspectives on things. Listen to a mussar shiur, or a chassidus shiur. Ask a Sephardi, an Ashkenazi a Yemenite, etc., what perspectives their traditions give on things that annoy you. Don't be afraid to learn more about different perspectives.

This is not a Judaism issue, it's a life issue. It's all about perspective. Everything that appears to be non-enjoyable is really a matter of looking at it the wrong way. Learn positive perspectives from others.

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I was one work project away from writing something very similar. My only addition is that changing various things in your life might make you happier in general. – Charles Koppelman Dec 28 '12 at 20:36

You can read Rabbi AbrahamJ. Twerski's books

Each one of them is a treasure..

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Rabbi Twersky was once asked how he could write (at the time) 27 self-help books. He replied, "I didn't write 27 self-help books, I wrote one self-help book 27 times." – not-allowed to change my name Dec 28 '12 at 14:18

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