Photo Credit: Judaica Press

Rav Avigdor Miller, zt”l, said: “The great tragedy of mankind is that we ignore the happiness of life. Hashem specially designed this world for happiness and pleasure. People overlook that; they’re ignorant of it. It’s such a pity. If I had koach, and if people would listen to me, bli neder, I would run out in the street and tell people how to enjoy this world all day long.”

Hashem Wants You to Enjoy His World (Judaica Press) is a book that brings Rav Miller’s mandate to fruition. To paraphrase Rabbi Yehuda Schonfeld, its author, a person can choose to discover how wonderful life is by reading this book. Filled with rich Torah sources, this work helps us discover the happiness that awaits us here in this world by opening our eyes to Hashem’s wonders and kindness, through the teachings of Rabbi Miller. As we go on Chol HaMoed trips, recite birchas ha’ilanos, and enjoy watching the spring flowers bloom, this book can help us Enjoy His World.



The Jewish Press: What is your connection with Rabbi Miller?

Rabbi Schonfeld: I grew up listening to Rav Miller on the family tape recorder. My mother would play Rav Miller’s Thursday night shiurim as she busied herself with taking care of my siblings and me. I did not recognize the rav’s greatness at the time, but the board was set for writing the book. I guess you could say that my mother introduced me to the rav. Regretfully, I never met him in real life.

Years later, I reconnected with the rav’s shiurim and books. His wisdom, passionate idealism, and courage in presenting the searing, often unpopular truth spoke to me, as it does to many people in our generation.

Is Enjoy His World your first book?

This is the first book that I wrote myself. I previously helped my rebbi, Rabbi Daniel Garfinkel, shlit”a, write his English sefer, Ka’asher Tziva Hashem, about the relatively unknown halacha of having kavana when doing mitzvos.

What was your impetus for you to write Enjoy His World?

By helping Rabbi Garfinkel write his sefer, I gained the confidence needed to write my own sefer. I saw firsthand how publishing a book can be very difficult, but with perseverance, determination, and Hashem’s help, it will happen.

I had wanted to write a book on the topic of enjoying Olam Hazeh for a long time. Years ago, I found Rav Miller’s shiurim on At the time there were only a couple of the rav’s shiurim there. I started listening to “The Habit of Happiness” and my eyes were opened to a world I had never known. Rav Miller’s vibrant words sailed out of my sound system and the world began to sparkle. An enthusiastic zest for life was ignited inside me.

I listened to that shiur many times. Eventually, I decided that I had to share these ideas with the world. I always enjoyed writing. So, when my rebbi’s book was complete, I began to work on my own.

Baruch Hashem, many people have shared that when they read Enjoy His World, they were affected in a similar manner to the way I felt after listening to “The Habit of Happiness.” It is my hope that my book can reach everyone in Klal Yisroel. We live in such a good world, yet the reality is that many people need a positive lift. The book has been described as “life-changing” and “therapeutic.” It really takes the reader to a good place and makes them happy.

What was your research methodology like?

My father, R’ Yacov Schonfeld, shlit”a, helped me tremendously with the research. We worked together for many hours, and he expertly located very many of the sources brought throughout the book.

In general, I started with the basic shiur by Rav Miller, “Habit of Happiness” – which I cannot recommend enough (it is available on and I worked through the various sugyas and kashas as they arose. I was also fortunate to have access to several talmidei chachamim (including my father), to whom I presented many of my questions. They gave generously of their time and really helped me produce the book.

How do we create boundaries in a seemingly boundless world?

We live in a physical world, so we mistakenly think that our happiness is affected by our possessions. This is simply not true! People are emotional beings. Why do we want stuff? It is for the emotional effects that result. For example, we want a nice home because others will admire us and compliment us, not because we care about the actual house. We want money because a big bank account will make us feel successful. The same holds true for clothes, cars, vacations, etc. It’s all about how these items make us feel.

With this in mind, we can overcome our desires for admiration based on superficial things such as style or vacations. Instead, let’s focus on real, spiritual achievements that are truly worthy of admiration.

What are we to say about natural disasters – are they a blessing or a curse? How do we bless the good with the bad?

Our gedolim have already answered these questions. I don’t have anything to add to their answers.

What did Rav Miller say about natural disasters?

I don’t address natural disasters directly in the book. However, Rav Miller taught that a person must not become despondent over other people’s suffering. Of course, he should do whatever he can to help. But at the same time, he must be happy that he was spared and continue to enjoy his life.

In today’s fast-paced world, how do we live in and appreciate the moment, as you say to do?

Reading my book is a good place to start!

How do we help people who are in shidduchim appreciate the possibility of finding their zivug?

This question doesn’t really relate to my book, but I’ll address it anyway.

So many people are struggling with this challenge today. I believe it is essential to understand the purpose of marriage before searching for a spouse. The secular world has presented us with fantasies and untruths about marriage which have unfortunately penetrated our communities. It’s terrible how many marriages in our communities are crumbling as we speak, leaving brokenhearted children (and adults) in their wake.

Even those who aren’t affected by those ideas may be getting married simply because they are 22 and don’t want to be “left behind” by their friends. That’s not good. We should be entering marriage with a purpose. If we understood what marriage is about, our search for a spouse – and our marriages – would be a different experience.

Rav Miller taught the truth about marriage. Marriage is an opportunity for a person to achieve greatness; to succeed at the heroic accomplishment of living peacefully with a spouse so different from yourself. Marriage is a mission: Preserve the harmony between you and your spouse, and provide a safe, stable home for your children to grow up. What can be greater? A person will receive endless glory in Olam Haba for achieving that! And you will have real, enduring happiness in this world too.

Of course, there are other reasons for marriage too, but that is a big one.

Can you share a story or a mashal of how one can appreciate the people in their lives?

In my chapter on marriage, I brought from Rav Miller an example of how an elderly man comes home at night to an empty apartment. He makes himself a tea and sits down at the table. As he drinks, he notices how quiet the apartment is and wistfully remembers his late wife. He misses her terribly and would give anything to have her back again. If he could only hear her voice again, it would be like music to his ears! But sadly, when she was still alive, he didn’t appreciate her. He complained about her and got annoyed at her chatter.

Now he wishes he had her, but it’s too late.

This is one of the most poignant pieces in the book and is a perspective that can totally transform one’s marriage.

Appreciate your spouse while you still have one!

What is the central message that you want readers to walk away with?

It’s a message for every person: the Torah isn’t here to take away your happiness in this world. It’s exactly the opposite! It’s here to give you happiness! Hashem wants you to enjoy Olam Hazeh as part of your growth in ruchnius. If you weren’t taught this in school, then you need to learn it now. It would be an awful tragedy to go through life without understanding this. That is exactly what motivated me to write the book: to present this concept with clarity and inspiration. I’m confident that readers will walk away with a totally fresh, optimistic perspective on life.

Rabbi Yehuda Schonfeld’s book, Hashem Wants You to Enjoy His World, published by Judaica Press, is available at Hebrew booksellers everywhere as well as on, where you can watch a beautiful short film about the book.

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