“You shall make the festival of succos for a seven day period, when you gather in from your threshing floor and from your wine vats. You shall rejoice on your festival – you, your son and your daughter, your slaves, your maidservants, the Levite, the proselyte, the orphan, and the widow, who are in your cities. A seven day period shall you celebrate to HASHEM, your G-D in the place that HASHEM your G-D will chooses, for HASHEM will have blessed you in all your crops and in all the work of your handiwork, and you will be completely joyous.”
How can HASHEM say to you and to me that “You will be completely joyous”, how can we be told to be completely joyous? First of all, what is “joy”? The dictionary defines “joy” as: “To fill with ecstatic happiness, pleasure, or satisfaction”; and where are we to find this joy?
The first mention of joy is over the Ark of the Covenant being brought out of the house of Obededom by David. The next mention of joy was when the children of Israel rejoiced after taking part in the offering collected for the first temple to be built by Solomon; “for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the L-RD”.
King David writes about the joy that comes with singing praise to the L-RD; Jeremiah writes about the joy that comes from the word of G-D; Habakkuk writes about the joy he has found in the G-D of his salvation; Zachariah writes about the joy that comes from keeping the appointed feasts of the L-RD.
There is never a mention of joy that comes from material objects; those things only bring momentary happiness. A new car would probably make most of us happy at least until we give thought to the 72 payments yet to be made, or it needs to be repaired. That new hot tub will bring happiness until it springs a leak, then that happiness can quickly fade away.
Happiness depends on a happening or a situation and it will come and go. Joy on the other hand comes from your relationship with HASHEM, with G-D.David praised, Jeremiah knew the word of G-D, Habakkuk had experienced salvation, Zachariah kept the feasts, the children of Israel gave.
If you want joy you need to plug into the source of joy and that source IS G-D; no other or anything else can give you joy. It is the plugging into that relationship with HaShem, with G-D that brings joy. Joy comes with your praise to G-D, your study of His word, experiencing His salvation, from giving and from doing what G-D has told us to do and not doing what He has told us not to do.
If you want to be completely joyous, then turn to the one whom the joy comes from.