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Elul Preparation

07/20/2021 06:02:44 PM

Jul20

¬≠¬≠Rosh Hashanah is a time for supplication.  A time to humbly ask and beg for forgiveness.  We use Rosh Hashanah as a time to mend fences between us and others, ourselves and God, and with our heart and souls.  However, the work of supplication does not come easy.  To reconcile our wrongs is a lot like running a marathon, it requires energy, stamina and training.  Lots of training.  This is where the month of Elul comes in.  Elul, the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah, is our spiritual training month.  It is the month we use to get in shape for the big race that is the High Holidays. 

Elul this year begins August 9th and ends September 6th.  So why am I talking about Elul on July 23rd?  Because like all great marathons we are going to need our equipment and I want to give you time to prepare for the training ahead of us.  One of the biggest keys to our preparation will be Tachanun (to learn more about Tachanun go here: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/tahanun/).  During Elul one is supposed to say the Tachanun prayers every day. Tachanun are prayers of supplication.  At this time of year, we say them every day to get in the mindset for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  Below is one of Tachanun prayers to try.  Recite this prayer each day for the next week.  After reciting it, if you want you can reflect and journal about what thoughts these words brought up.  Each week for the next few weeks I will present some other prayers to try:

God, being merciful, grants atonement from sin.  Time and again God restrains wrath, refuses to let rage be all consuming. Lord, do not withhold Your compassion from us. Let Your love and Your faithfulness constantly shield us. Help us, Lord, and gather us together that we may thank You and glory in Your praise. Who could endure, Lord, if You kept count of every sin? But forgiveness is Yours, that we may worship You. Deal with us not in accordance with our sins; punish us not in accordance with our transgressions. When our sins testify against us, forgive us because of Your mercy. Remember Your compassion, Lord, and Your lovingkindness, which endure forever. The Lord will answer us in time of trouble. The God of Jacob will exalt us. O Lord, help us; O God answer us when we call. Avinu malkenu, answer us graciously though we lack! of Your merciful nature. Heed our plea; help us, help ourselves because of Your merciful nature.

Remember that we are preparing for our marathon.  The more we prepare, the more likely we are to succeed.

Shabbot Shalom!

Wed, August 4 2021 26 Av 5781