January 2020

As we are now in the midst of winter, I learn that some people are affected by what is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is SAD. According to the website About.com, this malady can be triggered by overcast winter weather, as lack of exposure to sunlight can cause low levels of melatonin and serotonin which in turn can cause sad feelings.

As always, Judaism has an answer – and the Jewish antidote to SAD is SOD, or Seasonal Ordered Deliverance. The orderliness of the seasons reminds us to anticipate what is coming, and to equip ourselves in advance to cope with what we know we are going to experience. Indeed, it is known that an effective way to prepare the land for Spring is to lay SOD in the winter.

Life throws curves at us, to be sure, but seasonal change need not be one of them. We are reminded during our daily evening prayers of the divine preordained orderliness of these changes: “With His word He brings on evenings, with wisdom He opens the gates, and with understanding changes the times and alternates the seasons and arranges the stars in their watches in the sky, according to His will.”

Thus, rather than helplessly succumbing to SADness, we can, with a properly prepared frame of mind through the planting of a spiritual SOD in ourselves, smoothly glide through winter, and experience deliverance from Winter to Spring.

Have a wonderful winter!


Rabbi Pearl