Rosh Chodesh Elul begins tonight and the month of Elul begins on Saturday night! We are just one month away from Rosh HaShana….Every day of the month of Elul, beginning this Sunday morning, you will receive a brief spiritual email message from RST to help us get into the spirit of the High Holy Days. May this new month of Elul help us to usher in a new-found spirit of teshuva – that is: a time of re-evaluating, re-thinking and re-directing our lives. And may this process bring us true spiritual joy and health.
Please note that you will not receive the daily Elul messages on Shabbat throughout the month of Elul. On Shabbat, please join us for services either in person or online to enhance your spiritual preparations for the upcoming new Jewish year.
This Shabbat is Rosh Chodesh Elul and every Rosh Chodesh is a “mini” opportunity to reflect more deeply on our lives and on our Torah. How much more so when we are approaching the month of Elul – the month of introspection.
Our weekly Torah portion begins with the Hebrew word Re’eh – which in English means: See! (in the singlular form of the verb). Each one of us is charged with doing our utmost to see the best path forward.
The Torah then continues speaking to us in the plural, as a community.
Our Sages, noting the sudden switch from the singular to the plural in the very same verse of Torah remark that the Torah is teaching us that just because many others think in a certain way, we are still obligated to use our own minds, hearts, and souls to ascertain the best path forward. Yes, we are supposed to be a part of community. But, no, we are not turning over our moral responsibility to others.
We are a part of community for the good we can accomplish together with others. But, we must speak out when our understanding of what is good differs significantly from the currently held views of others. That is the essence of spiritual accountability and growth.
It’s a new day! It’s a new month! And it is time for us to begin anew to assess our place in the world and the purpose of our lives, individually, and as a community, as we move toward a new Jewish year.
Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov [A Good Month]!
Rabbi Gilah Dror
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