We have mentioned many times in this weekly email that as Jews, we live with the times. Meaning, that our festivals are not just commemorations of historic events, they are those events replaying over and over through history. That's why we restart our reading of the Torah every year. Throughout the course of every year we relive spiritually the entire history of the Jewish people.

On Pesach we actually go out from Egypt, as it says in the haggada "On Pesach night everyone has to feel as if they themselves have gone out of Egypt" – because we are doing just that at that very moment! Not physically of course, but spiritually. Every year on Shavuot we relive the same event that occurred at Mt Sinai when God spoke to us face to face. Every year on the 17th of Tammuz we commit the sin of the golden calf again and the tablets we just received on Shavuot are broken. Then on Tisha B'av our temple is destroyed, only for the Torah to be given again on Yom Kippur, just as it once was given a second time to Moshe on the first "Yom Kippur" of history. And then on Succot our Temple is rebuilt….. and the cycle begins again. Every year is a full cycle of life


We are now in the month of Elul. This is the month leading up to Rosh Hashana, which comes immediately at the end of Elul and the beginning of the new Jewish Year, and then Yom Kippur is another 10 days after that. Elul too has it's own spiritual energy that we relive at this time every year. It is an incredibly powerful month. A month given to us to prepare ourselves for the coming time of Judgement. After the mistake of the Golden Calf which resulted in the tablets being broken and our losing of the Torah, it was only after Moshe spent a month appeasing Hashem that we were able to receive it again on Yom Kippur. In fact, the gemara (Ran to Rosh Hashana p16) tells us that already on Rosh Hashana, Hashem had decided that He was going to re-give the Torah to the Jewish people. So when was that month of preparation in which Moshe accomplished so much? It was Elul.

That is the month we are in. It's not possible to arrive at Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur and in that short space of time manage to meditate properly on your past year and where you are, who you are supposed to be, and whether you are as close to being that person as you could possibly be. To really do teshuva properly takes time and thought and Torah study. To turn to Hashem with sincere desire for change takes contemplation and preparation. That's Elul. That's why we start blowing the shofar already from the beginning of Elul. The Rambam says the shofar is supposed to be a siren that will "awaken us from our slumber!"

Our Sages tell us it is also a time of mercy and kindness from Hashem. There is a famous phrase that describes Elul: "Hamelech Basadeh" which means "The King is in the Field". When a king is in his palace, it's very hard to get an appointment with him. You have to be very important, or know who to bribe, to get an appointment with the king. But when he is traveling through the fields, on a journey, any peasant can approach him.

Of course, we can always approach Hashem, it's just up to us to turn to Him, but during Elul – it's even easier.

Now is the time to start preparing. Tomorrow is too late. We are in the month of Elul, and the real King of Kings has gone out to the "field" just so that we will have the chance to approach Him….

The next few weeks are an incredibly special and spiritual journey.

Let's get started.

Shabbat Shalom!

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