Beginning of Elul
Here in the midst of summer we begin the month of Elul, which initiates our spiritual preparation for the New Year. Elul begins on the evening of August 10th and calls us to take stock of this past year: What has engaged our time, energy and resources? What have we created? What have we let go of? What has resulted from our words and actions?
Elul also calls us to begin to imagine what we want to live into and bring forth in the year to come. And with love and compassion, Elul calls to us to return to alignment, awareness and right relationship with ourselves, with others and with the world.
It has been a painful and difficult year in our country and throughout the world. Each day, events occur that wreak havoc on our individual and communal lives. Being thrown off balance by the events, by our emotional reactions and our confusion over how best to respond has taken a toll on all of us. The spiritual work of Elul can feel distant and challenging but perhaps now this work is more important that ever.
We need to realign and rebalance ourselves so we can be more present for each other and open to all that will be asked of us.
We need to return to and strengthen our relationships with each other and the Earth to tap into the inspiration and determination that will guide us into the New Year with courage, compassion and love.
For Elul 2018/5778 we will offer spiritual practices for each of the four weeks of the month. We begin with the video below that will introduce the month and the first practice. Then a written practice will be sent out each Thursday as we go toward the New Year.
It is traditional to say Psalm 27 every day of Elul to as a way to expand our perspectives and encourage our experience of connection and trust. Here is a downloadable PDF of the psalm in Hebrew with a translation by Rabbi Yael.
May our Elul practices open our awareness, call forth our compassion and inspire our actions for justice, dignity, healing and peace.
Rabbi Yael Levy