Entering Elul and Committing to Spiritual Preparation
Today is Rosh Chodesh Elul, the beginning of the 40 day teshuva period climaxing on Yom Kippur. For thoughts about the spirituality of preparation see my newsletter post from August 1 here.
In synagogues around the world this morning we began blowing the shofar and reciting Psalm 27, “L’David Mizmor.” The usual reason given for blowing shofar at this time is to wake us up out of spiritual sleep to begin preparing for the Days of Awe. I had a different take on these rituals this year. One could imagine entering into this period of heightened spiritual intensity with trepidation and some bashfulness about places we’ve fallen short. Rather, we blow the shofar announcing that we are hear and ready to do what is needed to
make personal and social change. We finish Psalm 27 saying, “Trust in God, be strong and have courage, and trust in God.” The shofar blasts and Psalm 27 are both bold statements that we are entering this period full on and trusting that God will meet us half-way. These 40 days are not a time for spiritual timidity. Grab your shofar and let’s get going.