Elul: a month of preparation

Torah cover available from tiferes.com
Torah cover available from tiferes.com

I love the Jewish month of Elul; we are in Elul now. Much as I hate to see the summer fade I love the renewal of communal life that comes with the fall. Now the synagogues rev up, there is the bustle to prepare for the holidays, the round up of volunteers who help with the Break-the-Fast (I’m already signed up to make a cake and do clean up).

I love S’lichot, the mystical late night gathering on the last Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah. The evening falls, we have Havdalah, the cantor leads the songs that close Shabbat and then we pray, study and discuss. The Torah covers are changed to the white High Holiday covers. The night is charged with a warm soft feeling of community. I know that soon I will see many faces that don’t come to temple much. Older couples that don’t get out much. Teens who have grown taller. Toddlers who are now talking up a storm. But I think I love seeing the seniors most of all.

I love Rosh Hashanah evening, walking down the aisle, kissing face after face. Have you even noticed how people’s cheeks get so very soft as they age? If you miss your grandparents or parents, you can sort of hug them once again when you hold an elder. Why are older people so kind? What do they know? Help me Holy One to grow into this kindness and wisdom.

Every congregation will be having S’lichot. Go to one near you.

If you need help finding a place to go for services, just email or call me.
Shana tova/Happy New Year!