Feeling “davenned out” and looking forward to Sukkot

It’s always a quick turn-around from Yom Kippur to Sukkot. Four days is all the Torah gives us to shift from soulful introspection, fasting and confession — to blissful celebration of nature’s bounty and God’s protection.

Yes, just four days separate the 10 Days of Repentance and Nine Days of The Time of our Joy (Z’man Simhateynu, as our liturgy terms it). Candidly, it’s hard not to feel a bit of “burn out” from three long worship services framing the 10 Days; already feeling “davenned out,” the prospect of four more in the next two weeks is daunting. But those who hang in there and fully celebrate the Sukkot/Shmeni Atzeret/Simhat Torah trio find rich spiritual reward.

Many of our homes are graced by Sukkot, which we fill with guests for sumptuous festival meals. Many of us attend one or more Sukkot worship services, where we give God thanks by shaking the Four Species and singing lustrous liturgical melodies of Hallel. We do so not out of duty or rote, but because giving thanks to HaShem fulfills our souls with joy.

And the best part of all, if you ask me, is doing it together. Stronger together — has that motto been taken already? Hag Sameah!