בבלי מסכת סוכה דף נא ע"ב-נב ע"א
מאי תיקון גדול? אמר רבי אלעזר כאותה ששנינו חלקה היתה בראשונה והקיפוה גזוזטרא והתקינו שיהו נשים יושבות מלמעלה ואנשים מלמטה. תנו רבנן: בראשונה היו נשים מבפנים ואנשים מבחוץ והיו באים לידי קלות ראש. התקינו שיהו נשים יושבות מבחוץ ואנשים מבפנים ועדיין היו באין לידי קלות ראש. התקינו שיהו נשים יושבות מלמעלה ונשים מלמטה.
BT Sukka 51b-52a ~500 CE Babylon
What was the big change? Rabbi Eliezer taught that they made a balcony and had the women sit upstairs and the men down stairs. Our Sages taught: At the outset the women were inside and the men outside but they came to falter due to lightheadedness [kalut rosh]. They decreed that the women sat outside and the men inside but they still faltered due to lightheadedness. They decreed that the women sat above and the men below.
Thomas Jefferson, Philadelphia 1776
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
The Rap on Happiness by Amy Bloom, New York Times Book Review, Jan 20, 2010
We could canvass Gore, Rubin, Gilbert, the Dalai Lama [writers of books on happiness] and the many authors on the happier.com Web site and produce the Fundamentally Sound, Sure-Fire Top Five Components of Happiness: (1) Be in possession of the basics — food, shelter, good health, safety. (2) Get enough sleep. (3) Have relationships that matter to you. (4) Take compassionate care of others and of yourself. (5) Have work or an interest that engages you.
I don’t see how even the most high-minded, cynical or curmudgeonly person could argue with that.
The real problem with happiness is neither its pursuers nor their books; it’s happiness itself. Happiness is like beauty: part of its glory lies in its transience. It is deep but often brief (as Frost would have it), and much great prose and poetry make note of this. Frank Kermode wrote, “It seems there is a sort of calamity built into the texture of life.” To hold happiness is to hold the understanding that the world passes away from us, that the petals fall and the beloved dies. No amount of mockery, no amount of fashionable scowling will keep any of us from knowing and savoring the pleasure of the sun on our faces or save us from the adult understanding that it cannot last forever.