Elul Programming – A Month of Connection, Reflection and Action

The month of Elul invites each of us to turn inward, take stock, and reflect on the past year. I am pleased to share the following resources with the DJC community to help with this process. Let’s journey toward Rosh Hashanah together, 
Rabbi Ilyse Glickman

The month of Elul, leading up to the High Holydays, is a time for inner awakening, spiritual accounting, and turning toward our deepest individual and collective calls to action for justice and compassion. Practices include sounding the shofar every morning to wake us up, reciting Psalm 27 daily, focused reflection on the past year, and engaging in the challenging and beautiful work of repairing harm and making amends.

Here are some wonderful resources and upcoming events in the Jewish community:

1. Repair The World – An Elul Reflection Journey

Thirty days of intention setting to prepare for the possibilities of encountering a new cycle of growth, of learning, of service and of self.

2. Weaving Water: Recreating Jewish Water-based Rituals

Begins August 23rd

How can ritual-weaving support us in bridging the gap between our own lives and our spiritual ancestors’ relationships with water? Explore how the Jewish calendar and our holiday cycle are built on the flow of water. Together, we will track the role of water throughout the Torah and how ancient Israelites’ relationship with rain evolved to influence modern Jewish rituals. We will cover cycles of rain in the Middle East, mikveh and other forms of purification through water, lesser known Jewish water rituals, water in liturgy, embodied practices related to water, and more. In each session, we will study primary texts, reflect on how these texts speak to our lives and needs today, and be invited to design our own rituals in response. All sessions will be recorded and sent to participants. We encourage live attendance for you to get the most out of the experience.

3. Hadar Elul Online Learning: Teshuvah, Tefillah, and Tzedakah: Three Pillars of Change

Begins September 5th

One of the most awe and fear-filled moments of the High Holiday literature is the Unetaneh Tokef prayer where we confront the magnitude of what it means to pray for our lives. Who will pass by fire, and who by flood, who will pass in their old age, and who before they are ready. But the prayer also holds out a promise that it’s not too late- teshuvah, tefillah, and tedakah can avert a bad decree. In this series of classes, we will examine each of these concepts over the course of three weeks: What is the nature of teshuvah and what are its limits? What is the role of the self in tefillah? And what does it mean to put tzedakah in action? Each week will feature a 3-day course on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, as well as a different, standalone class offered each Wednesday. Participants are encouraged to attend as many as they’d like. 

4. Change Through Acceptance: the Hasidic Notion of Teshuvah

Begins September 5th

Each High Holidays we are asked to engage in the challenging process of Teshuvah/change or repentance. The classic rabbinic notion of Teshuvah could be summed up as “Just say no!,” suggesting that, faced with the temptation to do something wrong, you should stop yourself. Hasidism suggests a different path, suggesting you acknowledge and accept that you have made mistakes and then seek to transform yourself to align with your vision of who you deeply want to be. In this three session program, we will explore the Hasidic notion of change through the study of texts and discussion.

4. JTS: The Torah of the New Year

Begins September 6th

Join JTS faculty online for a close reading of several of the biblical texts that we read during the fall holiday season. Discover new insights into these readings and reflect on what meanings they hold for us today. 

5. Stay Tuned – 10Q

A ten day online journey beginning on Rosh Hashanah 5784. Check your upcoming e-blast for more details!

If throughout this month of Elul you would like to connect with Rabbi Glickman about spiritually preparing for the upcoming High Holydays, you can schedule an appointment through her calendly link here.

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