The Moon of Elul (August-September)


Your soul, seasoned by the heat of summer, burnished from the flames,
grows ever more golden.
Like the fruits, you're becoming more flavorful with each passing day.

You can feel the shift in light now, the change in the air.

The chant of the Song of Songs runs through your being.
"I am my Beloveds,
and my Beloved is mine."

You long to review your life. That you might truly step into your harvest time.

So you call, HaTzur, your Rock,
One Who's solidly with you.
For you. 


aid me as I enter into the tasks of Elul.

With each dawn comes the voice of the shofar.
Each midnight, the music of prayer.

Elul bears the scent of wild roses, 
the sound of the departing wings
of turtle doves.


This month
of readying,
shaping understanding,
time of picking ripe figs.

Elul holds newborn autumn fog and freshly woven dew.
She shoos scent of carob and tamarisk blooms into the evening breeze.

In her reign the last remnants of summer heat swell,
and hot desert winds scatter shards
of thistles, grasses, and vegetable seeds wildly into the air.

Thus Elul instructs, that the pieces that have dried
bear within seeds of future possibilities.
That when feeling parched,
rains of restoration follow.

Elul bids me learn from the earth,
who moves gracefully into her season of ripening,
who readies for her winter.

She calls me to follow in her wake. 

To take stock of my vintage,
review my winter larders,
examine my cupboards wares, my storage of woolens,
both inner and outer resources,
and to move one step beyond.

frank-elulElul enjoins me to forgive.
For she, wizened with age, knows
that accounts unsettled act
like the small tear in a sack of flour,
from which a steady stream of wheat pours
until the sack lies depleted.
Thus do un-forgiven deeds and words
drain and alter my form.

Elul calls me
to seek forgiveness from others whom I have wounded,
wittingly and unwittingly,
by words and by actions.

She bids me speak words
which stick in my craw like
leftover morning gruel clings to the pot,
and to ask for forgiveness, and
to grant forgiveness. 

Elul calls me
to forgive myself whom I have wounded,
wittingly and unwittingly,
by words and by actions.

She bids me look at myself,
which stings, like lemon juice in a open wound,
and to ask forgiveness and
to grant forgiveness.

She bids me cry the unshed tears,
loosen jaws which clench,
open the closed recesses within,
and scour that which has solidified,
like calcium deposits inside a kettle,
staining the inner parts of my being.

She bids me
wash myself clean.

That I might be fresh again,
that I might shine again,
that I might stand restored,
pure as first made.


support me as I walk this route,
for the way is most arduous.

I lie exposed and open,
facing choked words and mottled histories,

tortured sculptures of intentions
that missed the mark,

overgrown gardens of desires that grew awry,
cankerously leaving their marks,
etched within and without.



May I learn Elul's lessons.

Help me scrub away the rings.
Pass through this moon, cleanse,
find my ground.

That I might sing my songs,
and bear my flame

Be with me as I walk.

As I walk forward,


Photography Credits

First photograph: Alon Kvashny
Second photograph: Frank Dobrushken
Third photograph: Vicki Hollander