The Month of Elul-Review and Renew
One of the first things a society creates is a system of justice. In fact, that is one of the Seven Noahide laws that all Non-Jews are supposed to follow. We learn about this in Parashat Shoftim. In fact, the word שופט means judge. Hashem commands us to judge fairly, not accept bribes, and pursue justice.
We also learn that it is not enough to have one witness to support your case when a crime is committed. There must be at least two or more witnesses.
The Hebrew month of Elul is a time where we begin preparing ourselves for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and for the ultimate judge- Hashem. Elul stands for אני לדודי ודודי לי (I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine) from Song of Songs (6:3). The month of Elul is where we do a lot of introspection. We review the past year; the good and bad that we've done, and look towards to upcoming year. It's also a time when we begin our Teshuva (repentance).
We prepare ourselves spiritually for the Yamim Noraim (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). Throughout the month of Elul, we blow the Shofar (ram's horn) everyday, except Shabbat. It reminds us that we can become better this year. For example, if we reacted harshly to our spouse or children, we can ask forgiveness and work on ourselves so that we will have more patience in the coming year. We increase our recitation of Psalms, and give more charity to others. Sephardim begin saying Selichot during the month of Elul which are prayers asking forgiveness. Ashkenazim begin saying Selichot the Sunday before Rosh Hashanah.
As we continue moving towards the month of Tishrei- I hope that everyone who reads this blog will have a wonderful year ahead with good health, prosperity, strength to accomplish your dreams, and also hope for peace in the world!