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The annual surprise of Elul

08/22/2018 09:06:58 PM


Rabbi Laura J. Abrasley

The Hebrew month of Elul always takes me by surprise. Every year. You would think that the rabbi in me would anticipate this intentional month of introspection, of turning inward to what was, to plan for what can be. But somehow the heavy heat of summer rocks me into a peaceful, slower space where I remember that life does not always need to move quite so fast. My planning can wait while I sit in my backyard reading fiction and watching the clouds float by. This is important work too.
When I finally look up from my blissful beach chair and feel the cooling change in the air, my initial response is to move too quickly back into the full, busy day the fall holidays and activities bring. I do love these fall days, but wonder how the slowness of summer managed to pass so quickly.
Elul reminds me I still have time to think, to be still with the world and her amazing creativity. And that I can bring this powerful tool of turning inward to breathe, to reflect and prepare with me into the familiar, welcome and meaningful Jewish season of return and renewal. Enjoy these last days of summer as you anticipate the meaningful fall days just beyond!
P.S. If you do not have an Elul practice to help you reflect and return, look for the beautiful online resource called Jewels of Elul  for ways to begin. For a more complete spiritual guide to the entire High Holy Day season, consider the book 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays by Simon Jacobson.

Thu, August 22 2019 21 Av 5779