1.P'shat Contentment - A state of happiness and satisfaction with what one has. - FJC's Making Mensches Periodic Table
2. [One] who seeks more than [one] needs, hinders [one]self from enjoying what [one] has. Seek what you need and give up what you need not. For in giving up what you don’t need, you’ll learn what you really do need.
– Solomon ibn Gabirol, 11th c. Spain
What is Solomon ibn Gabirol saying? Can you think of an example of how seeking more than you need hinders yourself from enjoying what you have?
3. Rabbi Ira Stone writes, “histapkut is…embracing simplicity, being content with less. Not focusing on trying to fulfill never-ending needs and desires frees us to be fully present to the moment and available to the others in our lives.”
4...,histapkut (simplicity) enables a person to experience satisfaction from having even the most basic needs met. It is contentment without complacency...The paradox of histapkut is that when we give up things, we feel greater joy rather than increased yearning. "Histapkut -Simplicity: recognizing Our Blessings" Rabbi Marlay Joy Subeck-Spanjer, DD The Mussar Torah Commentary
How might this work? How can embracing simplicity result in contentment? How do you go from complacency to being "happy with what you have" What is the difference between contentment and complacency?
יגיע כפיך כי תאכל אשריך וטוב לך
5. (Psalms 128:1), “You will eat from the work of your hands, and you will be happy and prosperous.
אֵין אָדָם יוֹצֵא מִן הָעוֹלָם וַחֲצִי תַּאֲוָתוֹ בְּיָדוֹ, אֶלָּא אִן אִית לֵיהּ מְאָה בָּעֵי לְמֶעֱבַד יַתְהוֹן תַּרְתֵּין מָאוָון, וְאִן אִית לֵיהּ תַּרְתֵּי מָאוָון בָּעֵי לְמֶעֱבַד יַתְהוֹן אַרְבָּעָה מְאָה
No person leaves this world with even half his wants fulfilled—for if one has one hundred, he wants two hundred, and if one has two hundred, he wants four hundred. Kohellet Rabbah 1:13
7. The real blessing is to be able to live with what we have right now and to live with what we are right now. Our imperfect bodies, our imperfect minds, our imperfect lives can be enough, and when we know this, we are blessed beyond compare. (see above)
8. On COVID and histapkut: https://www.judyschindler.com/simplicity-full-stop/