#BlogElul 1 – Prepare
It’s finally here, Rosh Chodesh Elul. It’s time to begin our month of #BlogElul, with the verb “Prepare”.
Strictly speaking, today is the second day of Rosh Chodesh Elul. The first was yesterday, the last day of Menachem Av, a mournful month full of the remembrance of tragedy and loss. Today is the first day of the month of Elul.
In a sense, one could say that on these two days we are preparing to enter Elul. The reasons for the double observance seem to vary with the explainer, but there is no question that the practice is very old, and related to the reasons that we celebrate two days of Rosh HaShanah – even in Israel, where there is no doubling of any other holiday.
Elul is an interesting month. Even those Jews who take a purely secular interest in their heritage will often get together with family for Rosh HaShanah, and Elul is the time to prepare for that gathering. People start making their soup and counting their chairs, even if they are not thinking about cleansing their souls of the sins of a whole year.
For those who go to minyan in the morning, the shofar sounds every day during the month of Elul. It is an exciting moment, in which we are reminded of the change of the season (especially poignant here on the Prairies), the dying of the old year and the beginning of the new. So many new possibilities, once the time of preparation is over.
What do you consider a time of preparation, and how does it fit into your life? I’d love to hear responses.