I was at shul singing my guts out as I do most saturday monings. leading the congregation in song, or being led as is often the case. I look up from the prayer book and see peoples faces which meet mine in wonder or appreciation. Generally I'm in a good mood. Yesterday I was particularly happy.
That morning my bike had been stolen from outside the front door of my house. The second time my bike was stolen in a month. I spiraled into a bunch of negative feelings - the safety of my neighbourhood, the cost of getting by, and the universe giving me a hard time.
I was annoyed and angry and I didn't want to be. The night before I hosted a wonderful Shabbat dinner at my house - the love and companionship filled the house like the smell of my cooking. Thieves can take my bike, but I don't want to feel angry. That is just double punishment.
We started the service, and I focused on the words to take my mind off my bike being sold on ebay, then somewhere around psalm 150 I was overcome by true happiness. I felt sorry for the thieves - they really must be struggling and I have never realised how many blessings I have: I am blessed to have my voice and blessed to be able to use it to makes peoples spirits soar. I am blessed to have the capacity and ability to host a wonderful dinner for friends and family, and make them happy. I am blessed to have a loving family. If the thieves had what I had they wouldn't need to steal.
I hope the people that took my bike, and other people in their situation find fulfillment in their lives, I hope their blessings multiply and they are gifted with the knowledge that giving, not taking makes you happy.
Until then, I thank them for making me appreciate everything I have.