The month and days preceding the Jewish High Holidays are when we do what is called a heshbon nefesh: an accounting of the soul. We talk to the folks we may have had challenges with in the past year and we strive to make amends -- to ask for forgiveness.
This month Jews around the world are preparing for the most sacred days of the year. It is a month devoted traditionally to reflection and self-examination.Asking the following questions, first prosed 2,000 years ago, give us a way to start.
As we enter into the Jewish month of preparation prior to the High Holy Days, Elul, I am thinking about the spiritual aspects of chocolate. Like the complex transformation of the cocoa bean to chocolate, I seek to transform myself at this sacred season.
Elul is really hard for me: In the darker moments of Elul, and in the darker corners of my mind, I berate myself. But in the course of this month, I try to find ways in which I can be a better parent and person -- and there are plenty.
This 11th anniversary of 9/11 falls during the month of Elul, the month of preparation for the Jewish New Year. Our work during this time is Cheshbon HaNefesh, an accounting of the soul, as individuals and as a community.
Elul is an opportune time to engage in teshuvah, the process of repenting after committing a sin. In our world where men tend to dominate women, men have a special task to reflect on their relationship to women.