Elul: A good time to make a promise to yourself

Despite the hot weather that may lead you to believe it is the height of summer, in fact the autumn is here. The kids are back in school which means that Hebrew school is also beginning, along with soccer practice, tutoring and all those kid-involved activities.

We are in the month of Elul; a month in which we are to examine ourselves. How did I do this last year? What I as kind as I promised myself I would be? What I productive? Did I have quiet time to myself?

I’d like you to consider what you would like to promise yourself in the coming year. What would you like?

More free time
More time with friends or family
More time for a hobby
A commitment to social action
Reading to your kids or parents
Eat more healthfully
Get in a couple walks each week

Or maybe there are some very intense things you are pondering.

Apologizing to someone you know you’ve wronged
Making peace with a relative
Telling someone you care about that they have hurt you
Letting go of a grief that has been holding on to you too long

Whatever you may be wishing to change, now is the time to mull it over. I spoke recently to a woman who has a very big rift she wants to heal. We agreed that it won’t be easy or comfortable or fast. But she is going to address it in the coming days, weeks and months. I can only say, my kudos to her! May we all grab what is troubling in our lives and make our best effort to change it and ourselves.

What are you addressing this Elul season?





Tree of Life Jewish Yoga (San Francisco)
Jammies & Jeans Big Top Shabbat (Palo Alto)
Ruach (Spirit) Dance (Palo Alto)


Tree of Life Jewish Yoga
You are invited to explore a contemplative approach to Yoga and Judaism that integrates mind, body, and spirit. We will blend traditional yoga and Judaism, integrating Jewish prayers, chants, & meditation. Wear clothes you can move in. We supply the mats. All are welcome, regardless of religious background or yoga level, member or not.
Led by yoga instructor, Rabbi Mychal Copeland, or Surya Stuart Dick, of Integral Yoga SF. For more information, contact Rabbi Copeland at rabbi@shaarzahav.org

Date:   Saturday, September 21
Time:   9:00-9:50am
Place:   Sha’ar Zahav, 290 Dolores Street, San Francisco
Generally meets the third Shabbat morning of the month
(Classes are free)


Jammies & Jeans Big Top Shabbat
Circus performance and activities Shabbat songs & dance party with Toby Pechner
Delicious Dinner
PJ Library Story, Bedtime Shema, and Milk & Cookies
For ages 0-5 and the people who love them

Date:   Friday, September 27
Time:   5:00-7:00pm
Place:   Palo Alto JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto, on the 4th Floor
Sponsored by Kol Emeth, 2525 Charleston Rd., Ste. 204, Mountain View
Cost: $15 for adults; Children 18 and under are free
Please RSVP here


Ruach (Spirit) Dance
Join us as we engage in prayer and experience community — through free-form movement, guided meditation/ecstatic dance (the kind you’d do when no one is watching). Have fun and find something greater than yourself through movement to beautiful music, with kavannah (intention) that draws on Jewish texts and ideas. Drop-ins welcome.

Date:   Saturday, September 28
Time:   5:30 pm
Place:   Etz Chayim, 4161 Alma, Palo Alto