Jewish tradition gives structure to many aspects of mourning as a way to create order at a time when mourners may feel unmoored.
If, as the Talmud tells us, the blasts of the shofar are meant to remind us of crying, (Babylonian Talmud, Rosh Hashanah 33A – specifically of Sisera’s mother – but that is another subject!), then I would offer the following.
One of my most precious possessions is a copy of the Talmudic tractate Kiddushin printed in Munich in 1946 on presses once used for Nazi propaganda.
Although we’re barely into the dog days of August, the High Holidays are fast approaching. The first of Elul, the Hebrew month that precedes Tishrei and the start of Rosh HaShanah, begins at sundown this Tuesday, which means that Wednesday, August 7th is the first of Elul.