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3 Ways Improv-Comedy Relieves High Holiday Stress

1. Listen before speaking, Practice with this game! -  Listening and patience are so important during the holidays. After all, the final prayer we utter to conclude Yom Kippur is the Sh’mah, which means “hear/listen.”  You can lead this game to practice. In pairs, take turns saying one sentence at a time. Use your partner’s last word as the first word of your next sentence. Go back and forth for 2-3 minutes. This game helps us to be better listeners in the year ahead, not just waiting for our turn to talk.

2. Forgive yourself for mistakes - During the chagim we talk about Teshuvah, repentance, and learning from our mistakes. When we improvise by making things up on the spot, mistakes are inevitable, and harmless. By practicing forgiving ourselves for the small things, we build up the muscle to forgive ourselves for the big missteps, enabling us to make change and move forward. 

3. Surprises are Opportunities - No matter how well you plan for the High Holidays, at some moment they will surprise you. The philosophy of Improv teaches us that every unexpected moment is a gift, and an opportunity (hizdamnut). We must recognize that when everything is an offer, anything that happens can be for the best. 

All of us at The Bible Players wish you a stressless and messless High Holiday Season.

L’shana tovah! 

Andrew Davies,

The Bible Players

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