Saturday, August 22, 2009

3 Elul. The Moon of Elul

This powerful and reflective prayer for the month of Elul is by Rabbi Vicki Hollander. It is reprinted here with her permission. You can find many more inspirational prayers, poems and thoughts at her website (also on our 'Websites that Inspire' list).
The Moon of Elul (August-September)

Photo credit: Alon Kvashny

Your soul, seasoned by the heat of summer, burnished from the flames, grows ever more golden.You are growing like the fruits hanging in the trees,becoming more flavorful with each passing day.

You can feel the slight shift in the light now; feel the change in the air.The chant of the Song of Songs runs through your body,"I am my Beloveds and my Beloved is mine."
You feel a longing to reflect.You know you need review your life before you can step freely into your harvest time.

And so you begin, your soul calling upon the name of God
Your Stronghold, One Who is solidly present, with you, for you.

HaTzur, my Rock, my strength,aid me as I walk within and enter into the tasks of Elul.
The month of Elul awakens each dawn to the voice of the Ram's horn, androuses each midnight to the music of prayer.She bears scent of wild rose and sound of the departing wings of turtle doves.
The month of Elul,time of readying, time of shaping understanding,time of picking ripe figs.
Elul holds newly born autumn fog and freshly woven dew.She shoos scent of carob and tamarisk blooms into the evening breeze.In her reign the last remnants of summer heat swell, and hot desert winds scatter shards of thistles, grasses, and vegetable seeds wildly into the air.

Elul instructs me that the pieces that have dried out within me bear kernels of future possibilities,that when parched, rains of restoration follow.

Elul bids me learn from the earth who moves gracefully into her season of ripening,who readies for her winter. And she bids me to follow in her wake.

Elul enjoins me to forgive, for she, wizened with age, knows that accounts unsettled act like the small tear in a sack of flour from which a steady stream of wheat pours surreptitiously,until the sack lies depleted.Thus do un-forgiven deeds and words drain and alter my form.
Elul calls me to seek forgiveness from those whom I have wounded wittingly and unwittingly, by language and by actions. She bids me to ask forgiveness and to grant forgiveness.

Elul calls me to seek forgiveness from myself whom I have wounded,wittingly and unwittingly, by language and by actions.She bids me look at myself and to ask forgiveness and to grant forgiveness.

She bids me loosen jaws which clench, open the closed recesses within, scour that which has solidified, staining the inner parts of my being. She bids me wash myself clean, that I might be fresh again, that I might shine again, that I might stand restored, pure as first made.

HaTzur, my refuge, One Whom I turn to on my way, support me as I walk this path, for the way is most arduous. I lie exposed, open like a freshly cut fig, raw, naked, succulent.
I face harsh words and mottled histories,tortured sculptures of intentions that missed the mark, overgrown gardens of desires that grew awry.

Help me embark upon Elul's tasks. Help me cleanse, scrub away my shadows, that I might pass through her, at end, purified, renewed.

So that I might sing my songs more clearly,so that I might shine more brightly.
Be with me as I walk forward HaTzur. Grant me courage and fortitude.

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