Spiritual Renewal in Elul 2009
Waiting for Rosh Hashanah
By Elicia Brown.
The tail end of summer often finds me engaged in uncharacteristically pious behavior. I've stopped, smiled and dug into my pockets when panhandlers glanced my way. I've stumbled out of bed in the wee hours, even before my young children arose, hoping to hustle to morning services at synagogue. And I've shared quiet dinners without a giggle at anyone's expense, without a single sarcastic remark, without criticizing anyone in any way.
This is my Elul etiquette. The Jewish month of Elul, overlapping with August's end and September's start, kicks off a five-week period for reflection and renewal, for rethinking one's relationship with people and with God. It is an intense stretch of spiritual rejuvenation. Consider these 11 steps to help replenish your soul during this season of contemplation, which ushers in the Day of Judgment, otherwise known as Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year.