The month of Elul

A Jewish Autumn

The Month of Elul

The Jewish Autumn

The month of Elul is the time for self examination, and preparation for the New Year. The Jewish tradition points us, first of all, to take an accounting of our souls, to understand what we want to change and what new reality we want to create in our lives. Ashkenazi and Sefardi communities, each according to their traditions, awaken early in the morning to say Selichot prayers as we approach the High Holydays, the days of repentance. The liturgy borrows from the book of Jonah: “Ben Adam, mah lekha nirdam?!” “Hey! How can you be sleeping so soundly! Get up, call upon your God!” (Jonah 1:6)

Whether we follow the traditional practice, or not, if we decide to make a soul accounting now, we stand before a difficult question of faith: what are we measuring ourselves against? What is the source of our self-judgement? God? The community? The very attempt at answering this question demands from us deep study and introspection.

Articles for Elul

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