Rosh Chodesh Elul, the first day of the Hebrew Month of Elul, fell on Wednesday, August 7.

With the arrival of Elul, we really enter into the mood and the spirit of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, our High Holy Days.

This is a very special time of our Jewish year, when our thoughts and prayers turn to the deeper meanings of life, leading us to take account of ourselves in the year now ending.

As we prepare for this season of renewal and hope, special prayers of s’lichot are offered. As Rabbi Mark Washofsky points our in Jewish Living – A Guide to Contemporary Reform Practice, these “special penitential prayers” are part of daily Jewish worship, except for Shabbat, from beginning of Elul to Yom Kippur.

Another important High Holy Day custom is to visit the graves of loved ones during the Ten Days of Repentance.

These visits help to remind us of the beauty of the lives of our loved ones .cherishing their memory and finding inspiration to emulate their loving words and deeds.

From Elul through Break Fast at the conclusion of Yom Kippur, these are very special, unique days in our Jewish year. Linda and I pray for all of us that this season will prompt us to consider carefully the purpose of our lives and take a personal accounting of ourselves.

I believe that as Jews we are truly blessed to have Elul and our entire New Year observance as our yearly reminder of doing our best to honor God, love one another, and continue doing our best to support our temple and actively pursue our study of Judaism and practice of mitzvoth.

I am so very grateful to begin my fourth year of service to Temple Sinai as your rabbi. Both Linda and I are very grateful for your love and support as we look forward to a New Year of health and joy for our temple and all our families.

L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu – May this New Year of 5774 find us all inscribed in the Book of Life, Health and
Happiness