The Importance of the Mundane in Judaism

We are in the middle of the Jewish month of Cheshvan.

This is a very special month; it is the only month on the Jewish calendar where we are not celebrating something or doing something different. It is 4 weeks of 6 ordinary days and a shabbat.

It is also part of the longest period of mundane-ness in the Jewish calendar. We go two months, starting the day after Simchat Torah (the end of the High Holy days period) until the first day of Hanukah doing nothing unusual, nothing out of the ordinary.

I believe that this extendended mundane time is as important to us as the holiness of Rosh haShannah and the rest of the High Holy Days.

What?  Why?

I’m Jewish, so I have to ask. In fact, to me, the question begs to be asked:

Why? Why do we have such a long mundane period? What is so special about now, that both the Creator and the sages felt that it was best not to add anything special to this completely ordinary 2 month period?

Another way of asking this question is:

What was God and the sages afraid of messing up by adding something else to this 2 month period, and this month called Cheshvan in particular?

In order to answer this, we need to go back and remember what the High Holy days, the period just before our current 2 month period, was all about.

In short, the High Holy days are about planting our intentions of who we want to be, and how we want to be living; and, we are planning to have the change completed, and really be living that future, in a year’s time.

Now that we have stated our intentions, it is time to start living them.

For anyone who has ever made a Western World’s New Year resolution, this is the hard part.

It is easy to make the resolution, such as getting into better shape. It is another thing to actually get to the gym every day or every other day and do the work.

It is even harder when your routine is constantly interrupted by things like: Martin Luther King Jr. day, Super bowl Sunday, Ground Hog’s day, President’s day, Valentine’s day, etc.

The Divine Source, and later our sages, realized this and also knew how important it is to get a new routine started and made into a habit, before adding something new to the mix.

And so they acknowledge our big challenge of beginning to create a consistant change in our lives and ourselves, by leaving a long mundane period so as not to interfere with our important mission of change.

I even hazard that they would agree that these 2 months of mundane time are as important as the holy time that preceded it.

May you be and stay focused as we begin to manifest the changes we want, and planted, barely a month ago.

Fill out the form below and don’t miss another blog post.

If you have and questions or comments, please leave them below. Thanks.

About the Author

Picture of Shmuel Shalom Cohen Shmuel Shalom Cohen spent 10 years studying Torah in Jerusalem. Six years ago, he started Conscious Torah to help Jews connect to their tradition in ways they didn’t think possible. Shmuel also started, and is the executive directory of Jewish Events Willamette-valley, a non-profit whose mission is to build Jewish community, pride, and learning. In his free time, Shmuel likes walks in nature, playing music, writing poetry, and time with good friends.


The Importance of the Mundane in Judaism — 1 Comment

  1. Hi Shmuel,
    Interesting Drash on the “Mundane” period we are now in. Todah…
    I also got your email regarding the High Holy Days class. You wanted my feedback.
    Unfortunately, I do not have “Office” so I cold not pull-up your survey. Perhaps you could send it to me another way. Maybe PDF would work.
    I did really enjoy your work(play)shop, and especially like the “meditations” we did. Tov meot! Have a gute Shabbos and let’s get together again soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *