“Daddy, I know what it means that ‘when Adar comes we increase happiness’. But what does it mean when it says, ‘greet everyone with happiness’?”
“Yonie, being happy is not just for the month of Adar, when Adar comes you just increase your happiness but really you should be happy the whole year round and greet everyone with happiness and smile at him”, Yoni’s father explained.
“Let me tell you a story: In Kelm, Poland there was a Yeshiva that was very special. The students were really a happy group everyone was smiley and friendly. There was a great sage named Rabbi Moshe Rosenstein who came to this yeshiva as a young man. He walked into the entrance hall and another student walked right up to him with a great big smile and said ‘Shalom Aleichem’ greetings and shook his hand. “When did you make it here? Do you have a place to eat yet? Do you have a place to sleep yet?”
Rabbi Rosenstein said he was trying to figure out where he knew this young man from but he couldn’t remember. He was sure the student knew him from before and that’s why the student greeted him so nicely.
But a minute later another student greeted him similarly with a great smile asking him if his meals and sleeping arrangements were set up. Again Rabbi Moshe couldn’t figure out where he met this student before to be greeted so nicely.
Then a third student came over and then a fourth student came over… “What came over me? I don’t remember any of my childhood friends”, thought Rabbi Moshe.
In a short amount of time Rabbi Moshe figured out that this is the way they do things in Kelm. They’re always happy and the greet people happily as if they knew them for years!
Without happiness you can’t acquire Torah and in Kelm the students are always happy towards each other and towards strangers too!”
“Daddy I wish I could go to that Yeshiva where they greet everyone nicely!” Yonie said.
You’re absolutely right it would be great! But until you’re big enough to get into such a Yeshiva you can try to be so happy that everyone around you will know you’re happy to meet them! Greet your classmates happily and treat your brothers and sisters with happiness and in that way you will gladden your surroundings and make G-d happy!”