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Elul

Many pairs of hands forming hearts

The waning of summer's warm days signals the arrival of the Hebrew month of Elul. It's a time to contemplate the approaching Days of Awe and how best to prepare for them.

Rabbi Sharon G. Forman
Palms turned upward toward the sky with a light shining down

In theory, no one wants to be that person who can’t let go, who refuses the request for forgiveness. But is it really possible, or even right, to forgive everything?

Rabbi Alana Suskin (JTA)
Black and white photo of the Lone Ranger and Tonto each on horseback with a western landscape in the background

Earlier this week, we marked the first day of the Hebrew month of Elul when it is customary to take stock of our actions and behaviors in an effort to do better in the year to come.

Rabbi Stephen Lewis Fuchs
Cropped photo of smiling white man in a cream polo shirt with fingers crossed on both hands as if for good luck

Aside from a date, what can these two events possibly have in common? Strange as it may seem, there are a few points of comparison.

Audrey Merwin

When my congregation publicized its four-day camping and canoe trip in Michigan, how could we resist such an unusual temple offering?

Kerry Leaf

Fans of “Seinfeld” may recall an exchange between Jerry and Elaine in which they discuss the appropriate timeline for delivering new year greetings. “I once got Happy New Year'd in March … it’s pathetic,” griped Jerry.

The Jewish calendar has a natural marker for when it’s appropriate to start wishing friends and loved ones a happy New Year. The Jewish month that precedes the Jewish New Year is called Elul, and the first day of Elul, Rosh Chodesh Elul, is the official beginning of the High Holiday season.

Cantor Lauren Phillips

Poet Stacey Robinson: "I stand here, ready to begin again, to follow this road of dust, that stretches before me."

Stacey Zisook Robinson

Elul is upon us. The sound of the shofar reminds us that this silent epidemic must be addressed. Its cries echo those left in the depths of sorrow, feeling alone, believing that those who love them most would be better off without them. Our fear of mental illness must be replaced with a resolve to educate ourselves and others.

Deborah Greene

In advance of the new year, people often ask rabbis, “Are you ready for the High Holidays?” I, for one, never know exactly how to answer. Is readiness measured in sermons written? In liturgy practiced and perfected? Or perhaps in High Holiday tickets ordered and received? What exactly does it mean to be “ready” for these days?

Rabbi Sara Y. Sapadin

I often hear my yoga teachers' words when I embark on a new project or endeavor. Today, as we get ready to usher in the month of Elul, the preparatory month for the High Holidays, I keep thinking to myself: What is my intention?

Rabbi Sari Laufer

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