A message from Reb Sally Shore Wittenberg
Hodesh Tov - Rosh Hodesh, the new month of Elul began on Monday evening.
The month of Elul has many different meanings , but first and foremost it means....
Rosh Hashanah begins in 28 days!!!!!
In preparation for the High Holidays, or Hihos as I like to refer to them, I would like to make a few practical and spiritual suggestions.
1) Please check out our website and Facebook page which we will to keep updated with schedules and other information.
2) At Yizkor we would like to formalize Eric Goldberg's wonderful suggestion that we share memories of the deceased we remember at Yizkor.
What can you do?
Please send me an email containing; Your name (last name first please ), the name of the deceased person you remember, the relationship and 1-2 lines of a memory about them.... Below is an example of how it might look
3) Anyone that would like to actively participate in the services; by singing, chanting, playing drums, etc should contact me - I will be delighted to have the assistance and delighted to guide you.
4) I will be sending emails, posting on Facebook and the website some of the High Holiday tunes that you might like to listen to or become familiar with before Rosh Hashanah.
...... and now for some month of Elul facts and practices.
The word Elul is traditionally interpreted as an acronym for the line from the Song of Songs, " I am my beloved and my Beloved is mine"
Our Sages throughout our history have proposed the month of Elul as a time as introspection, going so far as to advise us to "Devote less time to study and more time to fixed periods of introspection" (Rabbi Chaim Azulai 18thC) This time for introspection is done with goal not only of becoming aware of our actions over the past year, but additionally
If you like the idea of having a daily practice for this precious time when the Beloved is closer, here are some ideas:
A) Set 5 minutes a day to the side for silence - no calls, computer, TV etc. Try to listen to your breath for 5 minutes, as your mind wanders bring it gently home to the breath.
B) Here are links that deliver food for thought daily from Jewel of the Day , a website of set up by the Craig Taubman. Each day a different story is posted or delivered by email, on a topic - this year is "returning". link - http://www.jewelsofelul.com/ (just read or click on receive jewel of the day) weekly Rabbi Yael Levy shares Elul centered meditative insights at https://mishkan.org/an-accounting-of-the-soul-elul-series-of-prayers-and-practices-begins-August-5
C) It is a custom to hear the shofar daily in Elul, to awaken us. You don't go to shul daily? You don't have your own shofar don't worry!
May you all be blessed in this month of Elul with time for silence and introspection and greater wakefulness.
Reb Sally Shore-Wittenberg
Spiritual Leader Kerhonkson Synagogue
Questions? Contact Reb Sally
Reb Sally leading services Rosh HaShanah