The Month of Elul
The Month of Elul

 

The Upcoming Special Jewish Day

“Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a Festival or a New Moon [Rosh Chodesh] or a Shabbat day.”  Colossians 2:16

 

— Rosh Chodesh - New Moon - Elul 1

Elul is the sixth month of the Biblical year. Elul is called the month of RACHAMIM — MERCY, in anticipation of God's judgment, which, according to tradition, takes place in the following month of Tishrei. It is also called YEMAI HA-SELICHOT — DAYS OF PROPITIATORY PRAYERS or DAYS OF REPENTANCE.

The period of forty days, from the first of Elul until the tenth day of Tishrei (Yom Kippur), commemorates the second stay of Moshe on Mount Sinai, to invoke God’s mercy for atonement, and in which God inscribed the second set of stone tablets. Since then, these days are marked as a special period of Divine grace, during which, the tradition says, the sincere prayers are sure to find favor in the eyes of God.

According to the Sephardic Minhag (custom), these penitential prayers (Selichot) begin on the first of the month and continue until Rosh Hashanah. In the Ashkenazic Minhag these prayers begin on the Sunday before Rosh Hashanah with a minimum of four days of Selichot. The first Selichot are said early Sunday morning after midnight. The preceding Shabbat is called Shabbat Selichot - September 1, this year.

Elul is an appropriate time to reflect on our actions and attitudes of the previous year, and resolve to correct our shortcomings. After prayers each morning, it is customary to blow the shofar (except Shabbat).

 
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