Get High on the Holidays

Written by Rachel Burnham on . Posted in Advice Columns

Reader Question:

 Holidays are a time when some singles feel at odds with the family-oriented atmosphere pervasive in the Jewish community. What advice do you have for singles who want to reinvent the holiday experience for their lifestyle?

 

 Dating Coach Rachel Burnham 

Responds:

Single people can feel isolated, lonely, or out of place at a time of year that revolves around the family unit. How do we juxtapose the drive and yearning for closeness to the One Above as we proclaim Him King with the desire to find serenity with our own personal king or queen? How do we find meaning, positivity, and growth during this difficult time of year so that we will be left feeling positive, energized, and prepared for the year ahead?

When heading into any holiday, it’s important to focus on the holiday itself and not define it solely by who we are celebrating with.

For some, being in the presence of family brings comfort, warmth, support, and a safe haven from the challenges of singlehood; for others, however, the thought of holidays with the family is enough to send shivers up their spine. They’d give anything for a good book to hide in so they don’t have to face the constant harassment:

Have you met anyone lately?

I wouldn’t eat that if I were you —
you need to look your best right now!

What about so-and-so? I really liked him. Have you given him any more thought?

You know what you need to be davening for this year!

If any of these sound familiar, you have plenty of company.

Try to focus on the environment that will be most conducive to your goals. Go where you feel comfortable and inspired. If family and friends make you feel at home — not judged — and safe, use that boost to help focus your growth and davening. If being away from family and friends will have the most calming effect on your Rosh Hashanah, then do that. What’s key is the message of the new year: turning over a new leaf with new opportunities.

There is a time for breaking out of your comfort zone, stretching yourself, and working hard to develop weak emotional muscles, but Yom Tov is not that time!

Buy yourself something special, prepare yourself with inspirational classes and learning, come prepared for the day, go where you feel most yourself. Most importantly, know that Hashem has your address and knows where to find you when it’s your time.

With these tips in mind, you will be able to quiet the distracting static surrounding you. You will be able to wrap yourself in the cocoon of Hashem’s love and focus on the day. The meaning of the day, the sweetness and weight of the day, and what just one day and one prayer can do to change your year, your life, and your future.

May you find that safe inner place in which nobody can disturb you and your passion for connection to the One above  —  the only One that can carry you the shortest distance to your longest relationship.

Rachel Burnham earned both her bachelor's in psychology and master's in occupational therapy in New York City. Rachel coaches Jewish singles to successful marriages, giving them clarity and peace of mind as they navigate the path to love, connection, and lifelong companionship. You can contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .