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Elul 2022

Elul is the last month of the Jewish year and the final month prior to Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. This is a month in which to spiritually prepare for the High Holiday season of reflection and repentance.

Elul is traditionally a time of introspection and personal stock-taking, known in Hebrew as cheshbon hanefesh — literally “an accounting of the soul.” This process is conducted in preparation for Rosh Hashanah when, Jewish tradition teaches, all of humanity is called to account and a divine judgment is issued. The customs associated with Elul are all intended to help cultivate the proper mindset for this preparation.

 

Tuning in to the Voice of Your Soul: Writing as Spiritual Practice for Elul
Writing and Reflection Prompts for Elul
by Rabbi Katie Mizrahi (with thanks to Rituelwell)

Writing can be a profound spiritual practice. In the days of Elul, leading up to the High Holy Days, use these questions each day as a way to practice the soul accounting essential to teshuvah.

To access your daily writing prompts for reflection: https://www.bnaihavurah.org/elul-writing-hhd-2022

As a Family

The Sound of the Shofar: Wake up and Listen!

Blowing a shofar or even a symbolic toy horn each morning as you count the days of Elul is a great way to gather the family together before a busy day. Whether everyone is going their separate ways to school and work, or the family is setting off together for a day at the beach, setting aside a few moments for this ritual can engage your children’s interest in this important season.

Talk to your children about the concept of “forgiveness.” As the month progresses, leave a few minutes after the shofar blowing to talk about forgiveness among enemies, friends, family, and even between God and the individual. Take time for personal reflection, including writing or meditation. Encourage your kids to share their goals for asking and receiving forgiveness, and share your own as well. Check in as the month goes on, offering praise for diligence and progress.

When your family arrives in the synagogue on Rosh Hashanah and finally hears the first of the traditional 100 blasts, your children will connect this now-familiar sound to their hard work of the past month.

Sat, September 24 2022 28 Elul 5782