It’s Elul! Four Weeks to Rosh Hashanah

Shuvah – Come let us turn, return and be turned

Achat sha’alti … There is only one thing I ask from G-d, I seek it with all my heart. To dwell in G-d’s sanctuary all the days of my life; to behold the grace of the Mystery and to remember G-d in everything.” (Translation of Psalm 27:4 Rabbi Sigal)

Hear Rabbi Sigal’s recording attached to the end of this message.

Dear Friends,

Tonight is Rosh Hodesh Elul, the last new moon of 5783. Elul is the month preceding Rosh Hashanah, the start of a new Jewish year 5784, which will begin Friday evening September 15.

During Elul we prepare for the Jewish New Year with the practice of Heshbon hanefesh, the accounting of the soul.

During this special period before Rosh Hashanah we read Psalm 27 along with our tefi’lah, our daily prayer. It speaks of seeking G-d’s closeness and comfort. The name of the month “Elul,” the ancient rabbis thought, is an acronym for the verse “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,” from the biblical love poetry, the Song of Songs.

Elul invites us to spend time at the wellspring of our hearts remembering what we love, what is important and what brings us alive. Elul is an opportunity to review our lives. We make time to recalibrate life to focus on what is important, come back to G-d, and renew our resolve to live this one precious life we are given more fully.

The Shofar is sounded daily in the month of Elul, calling us to awake and begin to reflect and make the desired changes to live the coming year with more awareness, guided by our highest values and aspirations. 

I hope you will feel called to find time to reflect on and review the past year, to let go of things that need to be released, remove barriers, unload burdens and make room for the new.

Think about what changes would be helpful to consider and make a list. Contemplate and then choose one area of change on which it would be most interesting and useful for your reflections. Let the other changes you listed go for now, you can come back to them in a few days if you feel complete with the one you chose.

Now, think about: how would you support your Elul contemplations? What might get in the way of the practice and prevent you from being open to seeing clearly and honestly? Please reflect with the intention of bringing more awareness to your life. You may do so by journaling on your own and /or in conversation with another person.

A daily Elul practice will enhance your preparation for the New Year. You don’t have to implement changes right away. During Elul we reflect and get to know ourselves and the different areas in our lives by honestly looking and learning more about ourselves.

I look forward to being together at Kol HaNeshama’s High Holy Days season, in person as well as virtually. See High Holy Days Information in this link.

Happy Elul! Chodesh Tov!

Love and blessings, Rabbi Sigal

Listen to the recording to support your daily practice:

Achat Sha’alti (Psalm 27:4)

“Achat sha’alti me’et Adonai, otah ava-kesh.

Shivti b’veit Adonai kol ye-mei cha-yai,

Lacha-zot b’noam Adonai u’leva-ker b’cheicha-lo”

One thing I ask for dear one, one thing I pray for.

May I not forget you, may I not forget you, may I remember I’m not alone.

Music by Katz English lyrics by Rabbi Sigal 




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