Rabbi Johanna Hershenson’s Words of Hope
Happy Autumn, Temple Beth Tikvah. May the year, 5781, be a year of companionship, satisfaction, and learning!
The High Holy Days continue this month of October with Sukkot and Simchat Torah. Our High Holy Day season actually began a month ago with the new moon of Elul and preparation. Two weeks ago, the new moon of Tishri and Rosh Hashanah. And, now as the moon finishes waxing and begins to wane, Sukkot emerges.
Sunday, October, 4th, we join Shalom Bayit and Chabad in the large outdoor Sukkah at Shalom Bayit. Saturday, October 10th, we gather on Zoom for Havdallah and a Simchat Torah trivia game. This time of year, I often catch myself somewhere between: “Yeah, another holiday!” And “Really? Another holiday?”
And then, will come the Hebrew month of Cheshvan…bitter Cheshvan, bitter because it bears no holy days. We are holiday free until Chanukah!
We sometimes refer to the calm before a storm. For me, October (and the month of Cheshvan) is the calm after the storm. The High Holy Days stir the soul, and the month of no holidays allows the mind to quiet and settle into the autumnal rhythms.
Clean, crisp air. Cool mornings and evenings. Sparkling Central Oregon skies. Anticipation of snow and winter’s wonderland. School is taking shape. No matter pandemic, politics, fires or hurricanes…life does go on.