Elul is the Jewish month we are in now, the month that leads up to Rosh Hashanah. During this time we are called to prepare for the questions that arise during Rosh Hashanah, the days leading to Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Here are some resources to explore.
This is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation, by Rabbi Alan Lew
This is a classic that many people read and reread every year. In ten chapters and an epilogue, Rabbi Lew guides us through the journey from Tisha b’Av through Sukkot and explains the meanings of all the services and customs of the High Holidays.
The people who produce the wonderful Judaism Unbound podcast are ready with this year’s edition of Elul Unbound: emails, mini-podcasts, and the opportunity to participate in weekly Zoom calls.
This one is fun: They send you a question a day from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur. You can answer on the day they come or do several at a time. You have until a few days after Yom Kippur to finalize your answers, and then they’re sealed in the vault…until next year, when you get a chance to reread them and reflect on how much has changed and how much is different in your life.
Rabbi Emily Cohen
Rabbi Emily was our student rabbi a few years ago and is now rabbi at West End Synagogue in NYC. She wrote this wonderful piece about the difficult work of soul-searching that we are asked to begin during this month.
Rabbi Sandra Lawson
Here are two wonderful posts about Elul and forgiveness (the first one has a Spotify playlist):
Hazzan Jessi Roemer
Beautiful music of the season
A Rosh Hashanah medley:
Jewels of Elul
Every day of the month, a short piece on this year’s theme, Finding Balance, will come to your inbox.
This is a rich site for prayers, rituals, poems, and other writing about all aspects of Jewish life. Many pieces about preparing for the High Holidays are already up: