Our world seems to be in a perpetual state of change and shift.
I imagine the Jewish people felt similarly during their departure from Egypt generations ago. Exhausted but hopeful, carrying the heavy burden of generations of physical and emotional pain, witness to the miracles of g-d, and reeling from the hasty exit from the land they had known.
The past few years have felt similar. The transition in and out of quarantine and isolation, political upheaval and discourse growing increasingly nasty, rising concern about threats to the Jewish community, economic and social challenges, a war in Ukraine and resettlement of Afghan and Ukrainian refugees among so many other local and global challenges.
As it must have been for the Israelites on their journey out of Egypt, all of this is almost certainly too hard to process immediately.
Many of us are, as they were, broken and struggling in our own ways, some noticeable and some hidden. I know that is true for me.
The High Holidays present an appropriate time for self and communal reflection. To reflect on the person we are, and the person who we hope to be. To understand where we need help and support and where we can both give and receive support to others.
With last year behind us, and (we hope) a brighter future on the horizon, the Holidays provide us an opportunity to reconnect, talk openly and share. As the new year begins, let us reaffirm our commitment to mental health and wellness for both ourselves and our communities.
A conversation and check in on each other reminds us not only of our importance to each other but checking in can support stronger mental health and build powerful and lasting connections. Just as the Sukkah provided the Israelites a safe place as they wandered the desert, let us each be a Sukkah for our friends and family and provide them a safe place to repair, reflect and reconnect.
Wishing you a meaningful and connected High Holiday Season.
Some materials are excerpted from the Blue Dove Foundation; Bluedovefoundation.org