It has truly been a whirl wind of holidays..flying back and forth NY-Home, Home- NY...
There is generally a feeling of exhaustion, and just plain heaviness at the end of the three day yom tov. The feeling of a shower after three days...is there anything sweeter?
For me, I was expecting all those feelings.
I was expecting feeling stuffed, of being tired despite all the sleeping,
I was expecting to feel a little despondent from not being with my family.
But come motzai Shabbat the one overwhelming emotion I had was elation. I was spiritually energized, I was.. MitChazek.. things were clear that were once murky I knew where I stood. I was ready to face the world again.
Its ironic, for on the surface I had the least "Spiritual" holiday. I never once went to shul. I wasn't with my family. I stayed by myself and ate each of the 7 meals by a different family. I spent a lot of time on the couch curled up with a book and food. Lots of food. I learned a little about the Parshah, I finished reading The Happiness Project, I started R' Moshe Feinstein's biography, reviewed my hilchot Shabbat notebook from seminary. I didn't do anything earth shattering. I did not sit and meditate. My prayers were not more meaningful than usual. But I was strengthened.
The holiday season is over. There is nothing till Chanuka :( and somehow we have to forge on. Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan is this Thursday. We are moving back to reality. Being thrown back into "real life" for all intents and purposes, And its a struggle. It feels almost impossible to maintain the spiritual high of Tishrei just through this week let alone through the end of Kisleiv.
This week is the Shabbat Project. and if you don't know what I'm talking about, please please check it out. I think the secret to keeping a strong Jewish identity and perspective lies in Shabbat. I know that this tends to be my soapbox so I apologize in advance. Shabbat is what truly separates us from the world in both the literal and spiritual sense. It is the oasis in the middle of the toxic waste pit of 2014. The moment we light candles and the serenity of Shabbat falls upon us, we have 25 hours to do something magical, something so elevated, so spiritual that it can only happen once a week.
In those ethereal moments when the sun light fades and the world darkens, our homes brighten with the flames of the Shabbat candlesNeshama Yetairah. We are granted respite from the hamster-wheel lives we live and can stop and take stock. Regroup. Re-Strengthen. Re-Energize.
. Our souls are lit anew with the addition of the
But this doesn't happen by osmosis. If we just sleep through the day, we miss it. We have to seek it. Ask G-d for it. We have to actively bask in the glow of G-d love and attention.
Shabbat is the secret to spiritual success.