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High Holy Day Preseason

08/29/2019 08:06:13 AM


Beth Schafer

This week begins the month of Elul, counting 40 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul to Yom Kippur. These 40 days represent the 40 days that Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving the tablets of the commandments. If the High Holy Days were football, we are now firmly in preseason.

Here at Temple Sinai holiday preparations are in full swing, but also, if we really want to “do this,” then our personal preparations need to be in full swing as well. Starting on the bima this Shabbat you will hear refrains telling us to take stock and return to our best selves. Now is the time to recall our past year and take note of our relationships, our business dealings, our words and our deeds and map out the spiritual work we must do during our holiest of seasons.

The spelling of Elul, Aleph, lamed, vav, lamed is sometimes referred to as an acronym for words from the Song of Songs, Ani L’Dodi V’Dodi Li-I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. We are told that the lovers depicted in Song of Songs are, in fact, God and the people Israel. Preparing for the new year as if we were preparing to meet the One we love brings with it excited anticipation, a longing to be passionately reunited with the One with whom we are divinely connected. As we walk lovingly down the aisle that is the month of Elul toward the chuppah of the new year, let us do so with a sparkle in our eye, a smile on our lips and a fire in our soul to return.

Wed, February 19 2020 24 Sh'vat 5780