The word “Elul” is a Hebrew acronym for the phrase “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li,” which translates to “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3). While at other times of the year God might feel remote, in this season, there is a nearness, availability and personal attention to God that we can all access.In Aramaic, the word “Elul” is similar to the word for “search,” which is appropriate because it is a time of reflection that allows us to take initiative in our own healing, accept where we are, and gain clarity on how we want to grow and change over the coming year.
The days leading up to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are filled with meaning. Even the simplest things like eating and sleeping should be done consciously because if we connect to our souls, minds, and bodies, we are more capable of reflecting and connecting to God.
Congregation Nevei Kodesh offers classes and special events during Elul that will help participants connect to their minds, bodies, and souls in preparation for the Days of Awe.
The weekend of Rosh Chodesh Elul (the New Moon of Elul), Nevei Kodesh will be offering a weekend of special events. Friday services and Saturday Torah study will be led by Brian Schachter-Brooks, a visiting Rabbi who for many years was the principal service-leader at Chochmat HaLev, a Jewish Renewal congregation in Berkeley CA, and in 2007 founded Torah of Awakening, an online community supporting Jewish mindfulness meditation practice. The service will also feature several musicians and original music.
Also, this Sunday there will be an all-day contemplative retreat in the mountains with Rav Bracha entitled, “Preparing for the Days of Awe.” The retreat is a once-a-year opportunity to dive deep into practice, using movement, meditation, chant, Torah study, introspection, discussion, prayer and writing to begin the process of Teshuva – finding our way back to Self..
For registration as well as information of a variety of classes and experiences Nevei Kodesh is offering throughout month of Elul visit: Nevei Kodesh Pre-High Holidays Programming.