05 September 2012

Elul. !

I've been skipping around addressing this month because there is no way I can do it justice. In the Old Country, people used to faint when it was announced that Elul was coming.

Elul is the month leading up to Rosh Hashana.
It is also a time that Hashem is especially "near" - in a manner of speaking - "the King is in the field".
The name "Elul" is sometimes taken as an acrostic for the verse in Song of Songs, "I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine".
So, it is a time of honest introspection in preparation for judgement; and it is also a time of great and loving closeness to the Eternal.

I read in someone's memoirs that when he was growing up in pre-war Europe, his father would not carry anything in his pockets during the month of Elul.
It's such an intense time, a month of such opportunity and such focus, how can you walk around with irrelevant baggage in your pockets? -- thus, I presume, was his father's reasoning.
I don't know anyone who does that nowadays; but it does capture some of the feeling of the season.

Here is another account of Elul.

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