Thursday, August 30, 2012
Elul is almost halfway through ...
Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. She talks about all sorts of things, but right now she's engaged in a project called #BlogElul, as you can see in this picture I lifted from said blog
So, what's Elul when it's at home? Elul is the sixth month of the Hebrew calendar, and when it ends, we have the first day of the seventh month, known as Tishrei. This day is mandated in the Torah to be a day of solemn assembly, of blowing of trumpets, of G-d's judging of our sins of the previous year and determination of our fate in the coming year. Yes, that's Rosh HaShanah, literally the Head of the Year. We call it the Jewish New Year, but actually it is not the beginning of the first month - that one is Nisan, the spring month in which we commemorate our redemption from Egypt. Are you confused yet?
Anyway, the tradition is to spend the month of Elul, before Rosh HaShanah, in the practice known as "cheshbon hanefesh", literally an accounting of the soul. In the synagogue, every weekday after the morning service, we sound the shofar to remind us that we need to be spiritually prepared to meet the King of Kings. It is quite common for people to follow some kind of book or path in this preparation.
Rabbi Sommer has provided us with a visual blueprint to guide brief daily blogs about the Elul process, and I meant to participate in it, but got caught up in other things, as so often happens. People have been posting their Elul blogs in the comments of her blog, and I want to join in. It is, after all, never too late to begin the accounting of the soul.
Today is the 12th day of Elul, and her theme is Image. I can think of no better image than this nice blue sign, and I will do my very best to keep up. Most of the posts should be much briefer than this, so don't be daunted by the prospect of daily posts from me!
How is your accounting going?