The Month of Elul

אין צדיק בארץ שאף פעם לא יחטא

Ein tzadik ba-aretz she’af papam lo yechtra

There is no righteous person that never sinned.

The month of Elul has always been a super reflective month for me. As it’s anthem, “I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me” אני לדודי ודודי לי.  Many people at first glance may think that this is relating to how we are, or should be interacting and behaving with our friends, family, or even colleagues. But it’s not really the entire story.

This month of Elul is, in truth, our opportunity to talk to god and see how we are with HIM/HER. And for that we have a full month. 30 days of praying, hearing the shofar, evaluating us, and what we need to do to improve ourselves. On many levels improving us has everything to do with the people around us. How do we treat them? What language (in an email, on the phone or face to face) we use. We all have heartaches, and many of us feel that we have missed the mark, but as I am preparing myself for the High Holy Days Family service I remember that even Moses faced defeat. Here he was on Mt Sinai spending quality time with god to only find out that the people of Israel are building the golden calf. He comes down holding the god-written 10 commandments which he shatters once he sees the people’s sinful act. But then what does he do? He turns around and walks up for an additional 40 days where he asks God to forgive his people. As moses went on the first of Elul, and was there for 40 days, the day Moses comes down from the mountain is known as Yom Kippur.

Commentators say that Moses’ greatest moment was not the crossing of the sea of reeds or even the time of the 10 plagues, but this very moment. The moment where his heart was broken and he corrected his course. I hope this month of Elul will be your self correction month.