The Month of Elul: Seeing Clearly
We come toward the final week of Elul 5778 and lift our eyes to the year to come.
As we prepare for 5779, we acknowledge that we do not know what this New Year will bring. We do not know what gifts we will receive, what challenges we will face. We do not know what will be asked of us.
The mystical practice of turning numbers into Hebrew letters teaches that 5779 is the year of ayin (70) and tet (9). These letters can stand for ayin tov, a good eye. A “good eye” brings discernment, clarity, insight and perspective. An ayin tov can guide us in seeing clearly and acting wisely.
As we go into 5779, we ask ourselves: What qualities and what intentions do we want to place before our eyes that will help direct our attention and actions, and guide us into the fullness of life?
For example we could say:
I place before my eyes love, compassion, trust, courage, awe, harmony, wonder and faith.
Or we could say:
I will see the good,
I will see beauty,
I will see possibilities.
We can also picture an image that inspires us and place this image before our eyes.
When we find a quality, (or an image), we say to ourselves as we begin each day:
I place ______ before my eyes.
It is also helpful to write the quality on a card and place it somewhere we will see it easily. During Rosh Hashanah we can carry the card with us and use the holy time to help strengthen our intention to let this quality guide us as 5779 unfolds.
We need each other more than ever.
Let us enter 5779 with an ayin tov, seeing the interconnection of all life and acting for the good of all.
A Prayer for the Journey based on the traditional Tefilat Haderech
May the One who flows through all creation lead us toward wholeness and peace.
May we go forward in peace.
May each footstep be walked in the way of harmony and peace.
Let our paths be protected and all our journeys be safe.
May great blessings come through the work of our hands.
May we be seen with eyes of grace, love and compassion.
And may we see the world through eyes of grace, love and compassion.
Let our deepest values and visions find a voice.
Blessed is the Mystery that calls us present.
Blessed is the open heart that listens.
-- Rabbi Yael Levy