I think I have the post-Yom Kippur blues. Every year I get all inspired by the fast, and am sure that I will be more committed to Judaism in the year ahead. But somehow it dissipates pretty quickly (like around the third mouthful after breaking the fast). I don’t want to lose it again this year. Any suggestions?


I know just what you need. You need to be swaddled.

A newborn baby, moments after birth, is taken by a midwife and wrapped in a swaddling cloth. This serves to keep the newborn protected and warm. Having just emerged from the security and nurture of the womb, the baby is particularly vulnerable and sensitive. A good swaddling cloth gives the infant a sense of protection from the cold and harsh world into which it has emerged.

But swaddling doesn’t last long. You rarely see teenagers wrapped up in a cloth with their arms behind their ears. (Though perhaps some should be.) Swaddling is a brief bridging stage between the safety of the womb and the hazards of real life. A well wrapped baby will eventually grow to face life unwrapped. The swaddle cloth just helps get them there.

Your soul needs that bridge too. You have emerged from the womb of Yom Kippur, your soul pure and renewed. The negative residue from your past has been cleansed. Your soul is now tender and sensitive, and easily susceptible to the coldness of spiritual apathy and other moral germs floating in the air. You need some protection. You need to be swaddled. You need a sukkah.

The sukkah is among the only mitzvahs that you do with your whole being. The holy air of the sukkah completely envelops and surrounds you. It turns everything you do into a holy act. Simply eating, drinking and chatting is a mitzvah when it is done in the Divine shade of the sukkah. When you sit in a sukkah, you are swaddled by sanctity.

Going from the highs of Yom Kippur straight back into the routine of the mundane world is like taking a newborn from her mother’s womb straight out into the cold night. You just can’t do that. Sit in the sukkah. Bask in its sacred shade. Feel wrapped in its warm embrace.

You aren’t suffering from post-Yom Kippur blues, you are just an unswaddled soul. The sukkah can fix that.

(Source: Likkutei Dibburim IV, p. 1534)