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Create Your Own Holy Day

We are entering one of the busiest spiritual seasons of the year, so we asked for some special “Roadside Assistance” from Rabbi Rami Shapiro:• What are holy days for?• How should we engage them?• How do we make the best of them?And the Rabbi said: One way to open this inquiry is by defining the word “holy.”The word “holy” has two dimensions: personal and communal. Something, someone, some place, or some moment is holy if it arouses in you a state of awe and wonder, lifting you out of yourself and into a timeless nonduality. This is the personal dimension. When this moment passes and you return to your normal waking state of mind, you are left with a love from and for all things that manifest in you, as a call to compassion and justice that transforms your life and the lives of those you touch. This is the social dimension of holiness. Holiness isn’t just a feeling but a call to action as well.My definition of “holy days” comes directly from my definition of “holy.” Holy days are moments in time that, often aided by tradition and ritual, open us to awe and wonder in a manner that deepens our capacity for …

About the Author

Rabbi Rami Shapiro

Rabbi Rami Shapiro is an award-winning author, essayist, poet, and teacher. In the print version of our magazine, he has an advice column, “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler,” addressing reader questions pertaining to religion, spirituality, faith, family, God, social issues, and more. His latest book is Surrendered—The Sacred Art. Rabbi Rami hosts our podcast, “Essential Conversations.”

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