The month of Elul has begun and with the end of summer arrives the perfect time for introspection. On Rosh Hashanah, we are each judged on the merit of our deeds. The judgment begins on Rosh Hashanah and is confirmed on Yom Kippur.
We are given forty days, starting with the beginning of Elul and ending with Yom Kippur to prepare ourselves. Elul is a time to really look inward and try to improve. It is a time to look at ourselves honestly and critically and to try and make adjustments that will improve our relationship with G-d and those around us.
The word “Elul” is comprised of four Hebrew letters, aleph-lamed-vav-lamed. They are an acronym for Ani le’dodi ve’dodi li– “I am to my Beloved and my Beloved is to me” (Song of Songs, 6:3). Elul is an auspicious time for repentance because it is a time when we have the closest relationship with G-d.
As the past Jewish month of Av was the time “that our nation cries” (Tisha B’Av: The Day Our Nation Cries), the month of Elul is the month “that our nation tries.”
May the merit of the teshuva (return and repentance) during this month bring us, our families and our nation a most favorable judgement for the year ahead.