Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#BlogElul and #ElulGram 2016

For the last few years, I've embarked on a project, and invited the social media world to join with me.

#BlogElul and #Elulgram have inspired, informed, and offered a little bit of additional introspection across the internet for the last few years. By popular request, it's back! 

Elul -- that wonderful and terrifying month that precedes the High Holy Days.
Perfect for blogging and other social media... 


A month of introspection and considering, a month of personal reflection and preparation.

What's it all about?I have made a list of Elul-related topics, and I'm inviting you (yes, you! reader, colleague, friend...anyone with a desire to share ideas about the holidays) to join me.

But I'm not stopping only with blogging. Sure, it's called BlogElul but you can "blog" in any way you like. Maybe it's your daily Facebook update or tweet. Maybe it's your Instagram photos or SnapChat story? Now we have Vine and other quick-video services -- perhaps a daily 6-second video? Maybe you don't want to do it daily. Maybe you just want to dip your toe into the experience, or just read (and share?) what others write. It's totally up to you. I always love to see the creative things that the #BlogElul community comes up with.


Feel free to right-click and save this image to post wherever you #blogelul
There are no rules. I provide the topics (right above) for each of the days of the month. Just write a post of some kind about that topic on that day. Use the hashtag to share your post (I like to put it in my titles) and share other people's posts as well. This could be a way to revitalize your blog, kickstart a new project, or even just get yourself ready for the holidays! I know that lots of people use #BlogElul as a spiritual exercise each year, and I'm so proud to be a part of their yearly journey through Elul.

And what about #ElulGram? This one is even more interpretive. Photos, art, illustrations, quotes -- what kinds of images can you put together to explore and interpret these High Holy Day themes? You don't have to limit your picture-sharing to Instagram (even though I totally appropriated the name), you can use any image-sharing site you'd like, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. Whatever you do, tag it with #ElulGram so we can call share and follow.

These themes and ideas are broad and open, and again -- there are NO RULES except the ones you make for yourself!

And yes, I know that the dates include Shabbat. I personally don't blog/tweet/Facebook on Shabbat, but I will post before and after Shabbat. You can do whatever you like!

Are you going to play along? Let me know! Leave me a comment here, send me a tweet, or send up a signal fire.... Feel free to grab my pretty badge to announce to the whole world that you're Blogging Elul. If you let me know that you're doing it, we can cross-post, or guest-post, or even just do some virtual hand-holding as the days grow closer to Tishrei. I'll try to link to as many posts and pics as I can - won't it be amazing to all share in the Elul journey together? 

I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with you. Elul begins on September 4th (it's always on time), so I wanted to give you a head start if you're going to pre-write some of your posts. (And yes, I know it's a 2-day Rosh Chodesh, but let's start on Elul 1 to make things simple, okay?)


I hope that our shared preparation for 5777 brings meaning and hope, inspiration and enlightenment for all of us. 



The list:

Elul 1: Prepare
Elul 2: Act
Elul 3: Search
Elul 4: Understand
Elul 5: Accept
Elul 6: Believe
Elul 7: Choose
Elul 8: Hear
Elul 9: Observe
Elul 10: Count
Elul 11: Trust
Elul 12: Forgive
Elul 13: Remember
Elul 14: Learn
Elul 15: Change
Elul 16: Pray
Elul 17: Awaken
Elul 18: Ask
Elul 19: Judge
Elul 20: Fulfill
Elul 21: Love
Elul 22: End
Elul 23: Begin
Elul 24: Hope
Elul 25: Intend
Elul 26: Create
Elul 27: Bless
Elul 28: Give
Elul 29: Return

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Stuff I've Saved This Week (5/13)

Did you know that you can "save" links, videos, pictures, and even posts on Facebook in order to read or share later? It's one of my favorite new-ish features of Facebook, and helps me to keep track of what I'm reading and what I want to save/share/use later.

And yet, it's a pretty eclectic list. Recipes, articles, silly stuff....it's all there. So I thought I would start to curate this list on a weekly basis. Hope you enjoy my list!






What have you saved this week?



Thursday, May 5, 2016

Stuff I've Saved - Week of 5/5

Did you know that you can "save" links, videos, pictures, and even posts on Facebook in order to read or share later? It's one of my favorite new-ish features of Facebook, and helps me to keep track of what I'm reading and what I want to save/share/use later.

And yet, it's a pretty eclectic list. Recipes, articles, silly stuff....it's all there. So I thought I would start to curate this list on a weekly basis. Hope you enjoy my list!






What have you saved this week?

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Count Up: The Omer

Countdown:
three
two
one
blastoff!
Taking one away
as we move
forward.

Counting up,
we add:
plus one
plus two
plus three
building
increasing
improving
growing

Filling our lives
our hearts
our selves
with the blessing

of Torah.


The second day of Pesach begins the Counting of the Omer, the period between Passover and Shavuot, a 49 day period.

The period between these two holidays represents the journey between them - from the Exodus from Egypt (celebrated on Passover) to the Revelation at Sinai (celebrated on Shavuot). Receiving the Torah isn't something that can just be done at the drop of a hat, it takes preparation and work. The period of the Omer gives us that time to reflect and consider, to pay attention to each and every day, and to literally "count up" until the Torah comes into our lives.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#BlogExodus 4: Grow


"Said Rabbi Simon: 'Every single blade of grass has a corresponding mazal (star) in the sky which strikes it and tells it to grow." Midrash Rabba, Bereshit 10:6

Usually this quote appears with a sweeter tone, something like "every blade of grass has an angel leaning over and whispering 'grow!'"

Sometimes we need something sweet to help us grow.

But more often we need a good solid smack. 

Growth can be painful, difficult, hard. 
It often seems like it would be easier just to stay the same.
But growth is inevitable, right? We have to grow or we'll fade away....

So sometimes it takes an extra bonk on the head.

Want to join in? We're sharing #BlogExodus for the 2 weeks leading up to Passover. All you have to do is use the hashtag and there are suggested prompts on the graphic above (feel free to grab it). Maybe you just want to post on your Facebook or Twitter about these topics...or maybe you want to try #Exodusgram, posting photos related to these themes? I'll be posting my #blogExodus posts here, at this blog, my #Exodusgram pictures on my Instagram and also my tumblr site, imabima.tumblr.com, and who knows what else!? It's going to be a busy fortnight!

Monday, April 11, 2016

#BlogExodus: Purify


At the Seder we wash our hands twice.

It's not about a overly- developed sense of cleanliness, although that does seem to pervade the Pesach holiday. 

But it's about a kind of holiness that comes in a ritual purification. What does it take to make ourselves holy? Is it truly a physical act? I don't necessarily think that I need something physical to remind me to be holy. And yet....there's something powerful about ritually washing the hands, about pouring the water and thinking, considering, remembering, and yes, knowing, that there's something special, something unique, something different, and even something holy about THIS moment, this hand washing. 

So we wash our hands to purify them, to make them holy, and to set this moment apart from all others.

Want to join in? We're sharing #BlogExodus for the 2 weeks leading up to Passover. All you have to do is use the hashtag and there are suggested prompts on the graphic above (feel free to grab it). Maybe you just want to post on your Facebook or Twitter about these topics...or maybe you want to try #Exodusgram, posting photos related to these themes? I'll be posting my #blogExodus posts here, at this blog, my #Exodusgram pictures on my Instagram and also my tumblr site, imabima.tumblr.com, and who knows what else!? It's going to be a busy fortnight!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

#blogExodus: Honor


There are so many ways to celebrate Passover. More, perhaps, than any other of our holidays. It is more subject to personal traditions and preferences, it is more subject to different cultures and customs.

We read in Pirke Avot: "Hold the honor of another as dear as your own."

And so a gentle reminder to honor the customs of each Jew as we observe in our own ways this year.

Want to join in? We're sharing #BlogExodus for the 2 weeks leading up to Passover. All you have to do is use the hashtag and there are suggested prompts on the graphic above (feel free to grab it). Maybe you just want to post on your Facebook or Twitter about these topics...or maybe you want to try #Exodusgram, posting photos related to these themes? I'll be posting my #blogExodus posts here, at this blog, my #Exodusgram pictures on my Instagram and also my tumblr site, imabima.tumblr.com, and who knows what else!? It's going to be a busy fortnight!