Weekly Dvar Torah: Post Tishrei Blues?
We had an amazing month.
On Rosh Hashana we crowned the King, and He gave us a new lease on life.
On Yom Kippur our souls connected with the essence of G-d, and He accepted our return home and He wiped our slate clean, to inscribe us for a sweet and happy new year.
On Sukkos we were on overload, we paraded with the four kinds to celebrate our victory on the day of judgement, we danced every night to celebrate the simplicity of life symbolized by the libations of the water, and this year we had the added joy of Hakhel, the gathering of all, men women and children in total unity, to feel close to Hashem.
On Simchas Torah we returned the love of the Torah by dancing with love for forty-eight hours straight.
The ecstasy grew on us as the weeks progressed from one stage to the other, wow what an experience.
And now it’s back to life as usual, what a letdown.
Or is it a letdown?
Does it make any sense that we worked for an entire month to end with such an anti-climactic sendoff?
What actually happened?
Hashem created the world for us mortals to live in a materialistic world, with a very specific purpose, He did not create us to be angels completely detached from the world and its mundane activities, for that He has plenty in heaven.
G-d wants to have humans with materialistic inclinations and mundane needs and desires, the type that on the surface do not reflect G-d and spirituality, and G-s says; make me a dwelling place in this mundane world where I will feel comfortable, and from where I will derive much pleasure.
How do we accomplish this?
As we conclude the joyous Simchas Torah, we proclaim ויעקב הלך לדרכו = Yaacov went on his way, which is the way to build a G-dly people, this comes about by engaging in worldly mundane activities and sanctifying them to make them purposeful and holy.
Our job is to take all the energy that we stashed up on during Tishrei, when we spent time with G-d, on Rosh Hashanah we got the new lease, on Yom Kippur we got the clean slate, and on Sukkos and Simchas Torah we got energy and energy and more energy, we rejoiced with our Maker, and our Maker rejoiced with us.
These are all the necessary tools that we need to be able to go out into the world, to conduct our daily lives while working for a living to support our families, and we spread goodness and kindness, and we find time to study Torah and Daven and do Mitzvos.
We collected all the ammunition and all the energy needed in order not to be intimidated by daily challenges, we now have all that we need to stand tall and proud as G-d’s children, who are out to make G-d comfortable in this mundane world.
We stashed our valises, and we received G-d’s blessings to succeed in this holy mission, and all these inspiring holy moments during Tishrei were there to enable us to do our job all year round.
This makes the rest of the year, starting with the seemingly simple holiday-less month of Cheshvan, to be the highpoint, and not the anti-climactic rest of the year.
This is it, this is what we worked so hard for during all the holidays, it’s all for and about the now and the rest of the year.
This should give us a shot in the arm, we’re not descending into the morass of Cheshvan, rather we are ascending to reach the goal and the final destination of our annual trip.
If you were on a high during the last few weeks, now is the time to cash in and reach even higher.
Like every morning you feel refreshed and fully energized to have a successful and productive day, now is the morning of the year, you should feel refreshed and fully energized from all the experience of Tishrei, and this will make it possible that this will be your most successful and most productive year.
Your attitude as you start the day will determine the success of the rest of the day, your attitude as you start your annual journey will determine the success of the entire trip.
L’Chaim to a year of productivity full of blessings and happiness.
Have a flying high Shabbos,
Rabbi Yosef Katzman