How to Overcome Post-Tishrei Overwhelm

How to Overcome Post-Tishrei Overwhelm

We are almost a week post-Succot, and my “To-Be-Done-ASAP-After-the-Chagim” to-do list is still 23 items long (I keep it hidden away in a drawer, tell-tale heart style).

My laundry piles–dirty as well as clean and waiting to be sorted and put away– are nearly above my head (elephant’s-eye-style).

And I have this fear, based on past and current experience, that The Post-Yom Tov Mess will overtake every room I clean so quickly that I will never ever EVER witness a moment in which every room in this home is simultaneously clean (spinning-Chinese-plate style).

And it turns out I’m not alone.

Last night, while listening to Rabbi Nivin’s class, I found out that my case of post-Yom Tov overwhelm is, in fact, extremely common.

And I found Rabbi Nivin’s suggestion for dealing with post-Yom Tov overwhelm deeply comforting, so I will share it with you just in case your house is tell-tale hearting, elephant-eyeing, and spinning Chinese plate-ing like mine.

Rabbi Nivin explained that we only start praying for rain on the 7th day of Cheshvan, two weeks after the end of Succot. Why? Because in Temple times it took travelers two weeks to walk home from Jerusalem to the Euphrates river, the furthest border of Ancient Israel.

And, like those Temple pilgrims, we modern JewishMOMs are also still in transit from Tishrei balagan to regular life.

And that, JewishMOM, is totally normal and 100% OK.


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  1. This was just the encouragement I needed to take another week to get back into a normal routine. Thanks for sharing and hope you had a great Yom tov!

  2. motzoi yomtov a friend stopped by. she paused in the doorway and exclaimed: wow! your house is so clean and neat!

    i couldn’t understand what she was referring to. i really had to think about it. then i realised that she was referring to the post-yomtov balagan.

    several years ago i started to declutter. and i re-enforced my “clean up what you play with” rules. and i recently added a new tool: paper plates for the last meal of yomtov. and somehow yomtov and shabbos became less overwhelming. i realized that my sanity is more important than a picture-perfect yomtov.

    mazel tov on your new home, chana jenny!

  3. I love it that Rabbi Nivin always reminds us of our need for transition time. A week ago was Simchat Torah, school started only 5 days ago. I wondered why the tefillot for rain weren’t staggered by location – i.e., those in the Y-m area would daven for rain right away since they are not travelling, and those furthest would start the latest. But then I pictured a group collectively waiting for the last person to complete their journey. There is cohesion in the group, and no one is ready until each individual journey to readiness is complete.

  4. it’s not post-Tishrei here in Crown Heights.
    The orchim have not left yet for the most part.
    many are leaving this Wednesday or even Thursday.
    this last week of over-staying makes it very difficult for hosts to keep saying yes.

  5. It’s going to take me more than 2 weeks to get a handle on this! And with a new baby born on rosh hashana. Gonna take a couple months! Baruch Hashem

  6. hatzlocha to everyone dealing with post holiday stress/laundry/overstaying guests/ extra long to do lists. May hashem protect all of us no matter where we are and keep Am Yisroel safe.

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