Feel like you've seen a lot of Shul lately? Yom Tov season shleps us to daven considerably more than we normally would. Then there's all the eating, the family get-togethers, Sukkah visits and Simchas Torah workout- Judaism takes over much of our lives for the month of Tishrei.
All that Yom Toving can be tiring (this year someone asked me why we don't spread the holidays over a few months) or powerful and inspiring. As exhausting as playing rabbi for three triple headers was, I am sorry to see the Yom Tov season go. I'll miss the High holiday bursting-at-the-seams vibe in Shul, the taste-of-nature Sukkah meals with the family and the pulsating energy of Torah-dancing.
Yom Tov is uplifting- a pause in the mayhem; a time to reflect, reframe, recharge and resolve. It infuses you with new life and a fresh perspective. All too soon, it's over and you're back to work and a spiritual dry spell, wondering if perhaps you could have made more of the Yom Tov season.
From Rosh Hashanah until Simchas Torah you are like Adam & Eve in Eden, a foetus in the womb. Life is beautiful, yet detached from reality. Today is Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan, when we are birthed into the challenges of "real" life, expelled from G-d's protective Ark into the drudgery of earning a living "by the sweat of our brow".
Cheshvan is a far from exciting time on the Jewish calendar (there's not a festival in sight all month). We all want some excitement or inspiration to spice up our lives, but real life happens in the doldrums of everydayness. Stepping from high octane Tishrei into plain old Cheshvan challenges us to bring some of the Yom Tov spark with us into ordinary life.
Take a moment to think about one thing that inspired you over Yom Tov. If you can hold that experience or even just recall it from time to time, you'll have a meaningful- and please G-d blessed- year ahead.