After the holidays - carrying the spirit forward

Posted by Ellen / on 10/12/2012 / 0 Comments

Here's my question to Shevet members: do you know of people who, rather than feeling inspired by HHD services, feel let down, alienated, just plain sad. I'd love to offer advice to them in an upcoming blog post.  If you have any guidance, feel free to share with me at

I'd like to address this as the flip side of the blog post below.


As the last of the fall holidays winds down, we have to wait two months until Hanukkah.

If you attended services or had festive meals with family over Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, did you feel renewed, inspired, recommitted to Jewish practice? I think this happens for lots us.

[Conversely, some people feel more alienated. We'll talk about that next week, because it can be a powerful letdown.]

 Establishing new traditions

If you do want to rededicate yourself to a new tradition, how could you go about it?

You could choose just one addition to your weekly routine that would fill your spirit. Of course, attending services more regularly might be the best choice for you.

But there are lots of others paths. Here are some that might work for you:

Donate to a charity of your choice once a week. Here's one to consider. You could even make a super simple tzedakah box for this purpose.

Buy a beautiful new mezuzah and say the blessings as you put it up.

Find a piece of Jewish music that you like and learn to play it on your instrument; guitar chords and piano music are easy to find for many popular songs. Or just buy a CD of Jewish or Israeli music that you pop in every Friday night to create atmosphere. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Debbie Friedman, with her soul-filling songs "And You Shall Be a Blessing" and "Mi Shebeirach."
Authentic Israeli Folk Songs and Dances with a wonderful rendition of Hora Medura that pretty much makes you get up and dance.
And Neil Sedaka's Brighton Beach Memories, with his stirring Shein Vi Di L'Vone.

Establish a new tradition of hiking on Shabbat with family or friends, away from computers and washing machines, enjoying nature.

Sign up for a blog that inspires you. Here are three of the many choices:

Rabbi Yael Levy's A Way In Blog
Ann White's Creating Calm Within Chaos
Rabbi Jonathan Freirich‘s blog

You can read more of this blog post at:



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