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Resource Category: Jewish Holidays

Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, is an important and powerful day. It serves as a reminder of what we have lost and what we must never allow to happen again. But it should also serve as a reminder of those who are still affected by the traumas of the Holocaust like those suffering from intergenerational trauma...
We are going to know a new freedom” -Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 83. I have always marveled at the paradox that our nation’s liberation from the bondage of slavery is marked by the quintessential period of restriction. A holiday that requires us to adhere to strict guidelines and detailed instructions with such profound exactitude and measure. To distance ourselves from something that in the rest of the year we get to engage in unconditionally. This is freedom? In working firsthand with individuals in addiction treatment as they battle for ultimate freedom, I now understand that the answer to this question is a resounding yes.
Water is an essential part of our lives, and on the holiday of Shemini Atzeret, we celebrate and pray for that water in the form of rain. While originally a prayer for rain in association with the yearly harvest, climate change and its accompanying consequences on our collective mental health has given it a renewed significance.
“Dayenu” means “it would have been enough,” and in the song we express gratitude for everything God did for us as we escaped Egypt. Gratitude is not something that comes naturally to everyone, and it is good for our mental well-being to call attention to the things in our lives that we are grateful for regularly.
The religious and historical significance of retelling the story of Passover is apparent to anyone who participates, but little recognize the mental health benefits of reframing and shaping our narratives - especially narratives that are traumatic. This allows you to take ownership of your trauma, and doing so at the Seder should prompt us to consider how we can tell our own stories and take ownership over them.