Rabbi Evan Moffic, a graduate of Stanford University, and leader of Congregation Solel in Highland Park, Illinois, brings ancient wisdom to life in what he dubs “The Happiness Prayer”. It may not displace The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Neibuhr in popularity, but Moffic’s contribution is off to a good start.
Rabbi Moffic is not unique in dovetailing ancient prayers with the positive psychology movement. Dan Adler focused on this in a blog post several years ago. But Moffic is likely the first Rabbi to author a book chapter on how the Chicago Cubs brought their fans happiness, disseminating connectedness through a long-suffering fan base (although as I write this they are down 3-0 in this year’s NLCS). Emily Wise Miller does a nice job reviewing how Moffic merges positive psychology with “Eilu Devarim”.
Stages and phases of happiness, and the acts that engender them, are a zero sum game. There is plenty of principal to go around.