On Shabbat, we begin Rosh Chodesh Elul. The month of Elul is our wake up call that leads us into Rosh HaShanah. It is during this month that the shofar will sound each day in Jewish communities around the world. A unified sound will drift across time zones as people arise, gather, and sound the shofar before the sun goes down.
At Temple Emanu-El, if you’d like to hear the sounding of the shofar, you’ll be able to catch it during the days of Elul at 4:00 pm.
The special nature of Elul comes from Moses’ second journey up on Mount Sinai to collect the second set of tablets. Moses spends forty days on the mountain top after he broke the first set tablets in a rage when he saw the Israelites worshipping the Golden Calf. The date that he went back up is said to have been Rosh Chodesh Elul and that he did not return back to the Israelite people until Yom Kippur—forty days.
Like Moses, we are called to engage in deep self-reflection and soul searching in anticipation of our own spiritual journey during this High Holy Day Season. The sound of the shofar is our collective call to stir, to wake up, and to reflect upon how we have lived out our lives in this past year. We must think deeply about how we can be on a journey toward better living in the year ahead.
There is so much noise that distracts us from this path in our world today. The sounds are coming from our televisions, tablets, phones, car radios, overhead speakers in the mall, restaurants, and pretty much everywhere else we go. We must learn to tune out the noise of the world that doesn’t lead us toward fulfillment and tune into the sounds that wake us up toward action.
Tune in to your soul and listen to its call.