Maybe it’s because I’m Jewish, and maybe because I’m an educator. I personally feel that this time is a time of renewal. A lot of changes have happened in life: career, accommodations, family. My life has personally changed radically. I see it with other people. Some people’s lives have been disrupted by the economy. Some have had births, others deaths.
Shlomo HaMelech (King Solomon) discusses this ebb and flow in the book of Koheleth (Ecclesiastics). Everyone knows the part that goes “a time to live, a time to die.” Just like the physical world buds in the spring and dies in the fall (up here in NY anyway) so too there is this ethereal feeling of possibility now that plays itself out during the year. This part of the year is the most spiritual part, with all of the holidays and just the atmosphere that the world has as it slowly closes up shop for the winter.
This of all the times is the time to connect to G-d and I see it even from usually secular Jews. People who don’t go to synagogue all year are drawn in now. The only problem is they don’t enjoy the whole season. They try to force the schedules of their lives on the time and miss out on the best parts: Sukkot and Simhat Torah. Believe me. I understand the inconvenience of taking so much time for holidays at such a busy time of the year. It’s worth it. It sets the tone for the whole year.
I’m tired and hungry. Pardon me if this isn’t my cleanest piece.