Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Month of Elul is Here...

(the new month of Elul begins tomorrow, Thursday, August 20th)

as the new moon Elul approaches
the days begin to grow shorter
as the new moon Elul approaches
our minds begin to wander
toward the healing breaths
of the days of awe.

each day dawns
beckoning me to
pay attention
get ready!

my heart moves toward
the days of awe.
am i ready?
have i asked the questions?
forgive me
pardon me
raise me up
renew me
refresh me
bring my soul back home
so that i may fill myself up

plant the seeds of the new year
and watch them grow
small shoots of green that begin to poke up
during this month
they blossom and flower
into the days of awe
and i flower with them
reaching my petals, like a flower,
up to the Holy One.

The Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of renewal and reflection. It offers a chance for spiritual preparation for the Days of Awe. It is traditional to begin one’s preparation for the High Holy Days during this month with the Selichot, the prayers of forgiveness. We look to begin the year with a clean slate, starting anew, refreshed.

It is also customary to recite from Psalm 27:
The Eternal is my light and my help.
One thing I ask of the Eternal, for this I yearn;
To dwell in the House of God all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of God,
to pray in God’s sanctuary.
O God, hear my voice when I call;
Be gracious to me, and answer.
It is to You that I seek, says my heart.
It is your Presence that I seek, O God.
Hope in God and be strong.
Take courage, hope in the Eternal.

May this month bring hope, holiness, and restoration to us all.


Abe A. Boi said...

I love these inspiring Elul thoughts/reflections. Although I might be too early yet: Ketiwah vechatimah tovah lechayim tovim uleshalom!

Leora said...

Thank you for this inspirational, poetic approach to Elul.

Jew Wishes said...

Thank you for this illuminating post, and for the reminder that this is a month of reflection and prayer.

Shabbat Shalom!