Resource Category: Sukkot

Sukkot is affectionately referred to as the “Holiday of Joy” in rabbinic literature and is a celebration of the joy we feel when we recognize the many ways G-d takes care of us. Yet this holiday can also serve as a reminder to think about the people around us who are unable to feel joy for one reason or another, and to consider how we can make peaceful and safe spaces for those members of our community.

Much like we invite ushpezin into our sukkot, what qualities or practices would you like to invite into your life in the new year? Maybe you want to focus inwardly on forming new self-care and gratitude practices. Or, maybe you want to focus outwardly and commit to reaching out to friends and family more often? You can choose qualities or practices that feel big or small to you — even small steps can make a big impact on our mental wellbeing.
By Max Hollander | In the desert, there is only anxiety, but the holiday of Sukkot asks us to embrace that desert experience because without it we wouldn’t get anywhere. We don’t just read about it; we live it, residing in the sukkah for an entire week. And, in doing so, we learn to accept the reality that we are allowed to shake or stumble on our journeys and shouldn’t be ashamed of that.
By Tori Greene | The holiday of Sukkot is a time when we as Jews from all around the world take our indoor lives outdoors as we build temporary dwellings — called sukkot — to eat, hang out and even sleep in. After spending about a month and a half from Elul to Yom Kippur, delving inward and focusing on the self, Sukkot pulls us outward.​ It requires us to interact with community and nature in a way that can be rejuvenating for the soul and, potentially, for the mind.
Imagine how the Jewish people may have felt following their departure from Egypt. Exhausted but hopeful, carrying the heavy burden of generations of physical and emotional pain, having experienced unbelievable miracles, it is likely that they were in some state of shock. The transition from the agony of slavery and oppression to a state of freedom and possibility was almost certainly too hard to process immediately. Instead, as they journeyed through the desert, the fledgling Jewish nation may have struggled with the overpowering feelings and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 
Sukkot is known in traditional rabbinic sources as a holiday of joy and gratitude, but what does this holiday look like for someone who can't feel that joy, either because of a chronic condition of a momentary challenge? How can we make our Sukkot places for sharing and love between people?
How does the Sukkah represent an ideal for safety, support, and love? And, how can we bring those lessons into our own lives and make Sukkot-Spaces of peace and safety?
Make Your Own Mental Health Lulav and Esrog! Sukkot, the Jewish harvest holiday of the “huts,” is a week of celebration that starts five days after Yom Kippur. Rabbinic tradition tells us a Sukkah, or temporary structure with at least three sides and a roof of thatch or branches, represents the dwellings the Israelites built  and lived in during their 40 years of wandering in the desert.