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.