Thursday, July 25, 2013

#BlogElul and #Elulgram 2013

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. This year, I wasn't sure it was going to happen. But a few requests...and I decided that I would give it a shot. I'm not sure what this year's Elul will bring for me and my family. But I know that guiding my life by the Jewish calendar and its cycles continues to bring me comfort. So here we are, at Elul.

Elul -- that wonderful and terrifying month that precedes the High Holy Days.
A month of introspection and considering, a month of personal reflection and preparation.
Perfect for blogging and other social media...

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 your FourSquare checkins (can't wait to see how that would work out -- but please try!). 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 try to keep it simple, as I've done for the last few years. I've provided a topic (somewhat randomly mixed up) for each of the days of the month of Elul...just write a blog post about that topic on the assigned day! Use the hashtag to share your post, even in your title. This might be a great way to kickstart your blog (are you new at it?) and it might be a great way to get yourself ready for the themes and ideas of the holiday! (I plan to use #BlogElul in all my post titles, so that the hashtag is already there.)

And then there's #Elulgram. It's far more open to interpretation! I'm inviting you to post photos related to the same themes as the blogging project. Maybe you're not a writer or you don't have a blog - so take a picture instead! (And don't forget, sharing pictures is not limited to Instagram, but there is also Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr....etc.)

Whatever you do, don't forget to tag it with #Elulgram so we can all share.

The themes are totally up for your own interpretation!

I tried to think broadly about the general themes of the High Holy Days, and they are totally open to your own interpretations. There are no rules, but feel free to collaborate, cross-post, share thoughts, etc. This year the words are simple verbs -- do with them as you will.

And yes, I know that the dates include Shabbat. I personally don't blog/tweet/Facebook on Shabbat, but I will post after Shabbat is over. That's my custom but 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 August 7th (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.

I hope that our shared preparation for 5774 brings meaning and hope, inspiration and enlightenment for all of us.