Sunday, August 12, 2012

Returning on August 19th - Elul begins

A week from today we arrive at Rosh Chodesh Elul - the beginning of the new Hebrew month of Elul. This is the month that leads up to Rosh Hashanah.  The Jewish New Year has a very different flavor to the secular New Year with its party hats, champagne and poppers.  The Jewish New Year in an invitation to reflect, turn and return, realigning ourselves with a spiritual center that is our God-given holy spark.  When we are paying attention, this is the spark that lights the path and helps us find our way through life, being the highest of what we have the potential to be.

For Rosh Hashanah to be a meaningful holiday, we need to prepare.  Elul provides a month of reflective preparation time.  In our modern age, there are many tools and guides available to us that enable us to set aside a little time each day for this reflective work of soul preparation.  One of my colleagues, Rabbi Phylis Sommer, has again suggested a theme a day for #BlogElul and #Elulgram, and I'll be participating by blogging here on her listed themes.  The '#' tells you that the various bloggers who join her can be easily found on Twitter if you search for #BlogElul - we'll all be posting links to our blogs that way.  If you follow me on Facebook, you'll also see the Elul postings there.  And, of course, you can sign up on the right side of this blog to receive an email in your inbox whenever I've posted a new blog piece.  An #Elulgram is a photo posted on Twitter, offering a visual interpretation of the day's theme.

While you may let some of us provide a guide through the month of Elul by reading some of these postings, anyone can contribute.  If you have a blog, try writing some of your own reflections.  Or, use the comments box on my blog to add your own thoughts on the day's theme, on the days that I post.  I don't usually manage to post every day of Elul, but about once a week I'll post my personal selection of the 'best of' #BlogElul with links to some of the pieces by others that I have found most thought-provoking in my own preparations for the High Holydays.

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