Elul: A Time of Preparation

Preparing for the High Holidays begins with Rosh Hodesh Elul. We observe the month by blowing the shofar each morning (except for shabbat) to awaken our spirit and begin the process of reflection and repentance. This is the perfect time to fulfill Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel’s exhortation, “The life of a Jew requires focus and direction, and cannot be carried out offhandedly.”[1]

The Inspirational History of Rosh Hashanah (Chancellor Emeritus Ismar Schorsch): How Rosh Hashanah came to be observed

On Radical Amazement (Chancellor Emeritus Ismar Schorsch): God is both lofty and lowly; The Master of the heavens is also the Guardian of the oppressed.

Nourishing the Soul (Chancellor Emeritus Ismar Schorsch): “The real challenge of Yom Kippur is to do without the distractions to which we are addicted.”

Shattering Our Idols (Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz): Elul, the sounds of the shofar, and the opportunity for change

The World Belongs to God (Rabbi Lewis Warshauer): Reading “My Father was a wandering Aramean” through High Holiday glasses

The Blessings of Curses: A Rosh Hashanah Puzzle (David Hoffman): Why do we read the curses in Deuteronomy before Rosh Hashanah?

Selichot (Rabbi Samuel Barth): Channeling the spirit of forgiveness before the holiday

Psalm 27

Psalm 27: The Days of Awe (Dr. Alan Cooper): The mystical secret behind the reading of Psalm 27

A Psalm for Repentance (Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz): Opening our hearts through Psalm 27

No’am Adonai (the Beauty of Adonai): Psalm 27 and Elul (Rabbi Samuel Barth)


Topics In Talmud: The High Holidays
with Dr. David Kraemer

[1] Heschel, Abraham Joshua. “Pikuah Nefesh: To Save a Soul.” Moral Granduer and Spiritual Audacity. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1996 (55).