Take Notice — Second Week of Elul

As we move through Elul, the season calls us to do hesbon hanefesh, to take an accounting of our soul. Hesbon hanefesh asks us to look at who we have been this past year, examining ways we have acted well and ways in which we have fallen short of our ideals and values. Hesbon hanefesh asks us to tell the truth to ourselves and each other.

This second week of Elul, we ask:

When have I been honest with myself and others even when it was difficult?

When was I dishonest because I felt fear or shame?

When did I hide from truths because I just couldn’t face them?

When was I surprised by truths I discovered?

As we engage in hesbon hanefesh the Mystery, the Source of All, says to us, Hinei makom eti — Take notice, there is a place for you with me. (Exodus 33:21)

No matter how far you have strayed, no matter how much you have missed the mark, there is always a place for you with me. Return to me by being true and honest, there is always a place for you.

— Rabbi Yael Levy
4 Elul 5779

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