Sunday, August 12, 2007

Welcome to Elul and Places I've Been This Week

Tomorrow is Rosh Chodesh Elul.

Rosh Chodesh, the new moon, is the beginning of the Hebrew month. It is traditionally regarded as a "women's holiday" because of the connection that women have with the lunar cycle. The Hebrew calendar is actually a combination of lunar and solar, using lunar months but adjusting them (using leap months) to keep the calendar on a seasonal footing (as in, Rosh HaShanah always lands in the fall of the year).

Each month has its own character, just like in our Gregorian calendar, and Elul is no different. It is the month that we count carefully, measuring each day, for we know that at the end of this month, the High Holy Days (Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur) begin.

How to fully measure each day? How to prepare oneself to stand before God and begin the year again? And of course, the tachlis, the mundane details, how do we organize the holidays? Write the sermons, plan the meals, the activities? This is the month to do it.

To begin the Elul journey, I offer this poem by Debbie Perlman, reposted from

Rosh Chodesh Elul: A Modern Psalm

Fighting the languor of sultry days,

We begin the turning, back to You;

Moving against the heat of our hearts,

Against the anger inside, we turn.
Call us to begin the examination,

Healing God;

Call for us to remove the garment of our deceit,

The fears that bind us away from You.

Chafing at our tender miseries.
In the month of Elul,

we uncover our secrets,

Examining them with a truthful heart,

Counting the pulse beats of our life,

The selfish pressures we apply and resist.
Call us to the consultation of our souls,

For You are a God of healing and mercy;

Call us to begin without delay,

That Elul might draw us near to You.

5 places i've been this week....

Birthdays Without Pressure -- a whole post in itself someday soon, I'm sure.

The Goody Blog - a new fun site I just discovered as they were just about to give away a lot of stuff. I want to win!!!!

Google Reader - my newest way to check out feeds. I was using IE's in-house feed reader but it didn't always refresh properly. Thanks to ZRecommends for recommending it!

Mabel's Labels - everyone raves about them so I think it's time to buy...

Baby Einstein makes your kids dumber!? Who knew. I always thought they made me dumber....

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