The High Holidays and Sukkot have ended. This marathon of Jewish Holy Days earned many of us an increased spiritual awareness, sensitivity and commitment. But how can we maintain that growth throughout the year?
Here are five suggestions for maintaining the momentum of the High Holidays:
1. Honoring Shabbat
Shabbat is a weekly opportunity to unplug and stay in good spiritual health. Meals with family and friends, communal worship, connecting with community, and creating time to rejuvenate are critical elements to Shabbat, and to keeping the High Holiday growth going during the year ahead. What you do to honor Shabbat, will reward you spiritually and materially.
2. Creating Time for Daily Torah Study
A person who is not engaged in daily Torah study is depriving themselves of the nutrients they need to stay in good spiritual health, nurture their soul and develop a stronger connection with God. I suggest a Chevruta -- learning with a partner. While attending classes is important, it's often passive learning. The real impact of Torah learning on your life comes from having a study partner. Even five minutes a day.
3. Acquire for Yourself a Shul Friend
Our sages teach us in Pirkei Avot, "Acquire for yourself a friend". Be in regular contact with people you spent the holidays with. This is a natural group of people to help you maintain your spiritual strength this year.
4. Volunteer for Chesed Projects
My last Dvar Torah of the holiday season was about the importance of doing someone a favor. You cannot underestimate the power of helping others -- both on how it will positively influence your life and those you are helping.
5. Paying Your Pledges
Many people make pledges of tzedakah/charity during the Holidays. Whether in memory of someone during Yizkor, or a misheberach after an honor, an auction, it is critical to pay your pledge for the impact in the world to take place.
May you continue to grow and learn, and be blessed with an outpouring of divine favor!