Last week I was with a group of people when the question went round of how each of us defined a “good life.” I reached into my pocket of cliches and tossed a few out, such as “feeling needed, feeling productive, feeling I’ve helped people.” While my answers were not invalid, they had the substance of a Hallmark Card. They were simplistic and cloying (or as the British might say,
I like rabbinical beard pulls. They usually (as in the parable) precede valuable outside-the-box thinking!
As always (even when I disagreed :) ), I enjoyed this read. In what I call my Dark Days, I learned to think in terms of gratitude, to remind myself of all I had for which I was grateful, the least important being anything material. It was a wonderful lesson still with me nearly 20 years later. I recall it each night after the Sh'mah. As for Hillel, I have to crow a bit. This is my father's book: https://www.abebooks.com/9780838102190/story-Hillel-Aaron-H-Blumenthal-0838102190/plp
Live a good life? Hillel's famous answer might also serve us well. ""What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation of this—go and study it!"
One of my kids’ favourite books is A Squash And A Squeeze