If not now, when?

Right around the dawning of the new school year, the jam-packed Jewish month of Tishrei comes along and challenges us to create even more space in our busy lives.

Jewish holidays entail countless meals with family and friends, hours of communal prayer, and other various traditions. It’s hard not to get swept up with the flurry of activity. Routine is put on hold. Plans don’t extend past the last holiday; there’s just too much to focus on.

In Israel, this phenomenon of putting life on hold has born the expression “acharei hachagim.” This is used to buffer the month of Chagim and the sudden shock of normal life resuming in October.

In the States, the holiday period may feel incredibly stressful, as you struggle to keep up with the requirements of a secular workplace while enjoying the holidays. It’s normal for some issues to slip through the cracks, or be cast aside to be dealt with later.

It’s almost the end of first semester – how is your child doing?

For some of us, the intensive focus on family and community can be a bit overwhelming. Especially if you’re a young adult struggling with addiction, or if you are the parent of one.

The High Holiday season may have reinforced your understanding that you or your child need constructive and compassionate help with the journey to recovery.

Like the majority of Jews in the month of Tishrei, you probably took note of these observations and then pushed them aside to be dealt with “after the Chagim.”

In the aftermath of the holiday season, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done, and the routine that needs to be re-incorporated into daily life.

Time to take action

During the next few months, when the days grow shorter and colder, we begin a long stretch of “normal” days.

For someone that may benefit from a change of scenery, going to a rural area of Israel may be a good option. At a rehabilitation center such as Retorno, where the focus is holistic and flexible, you or your child may find the space you need to reclaim your life and move towards recovery.

About the Author
Shoshana Schwartz is an addictions counselor and therapeutic horseback riding instructor at Retorno. She is the author of four books and is a weekly contributor to Mishpacha magazine.
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