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.

As each dawn comes the voice of the shofar.
Each midnight, the music of prayer.
In the air floats the scent of wild roses, 
the sound of the departing wings of turtle doves


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

Newborn autumn fog and freshly woven dew rises.
Scent of carob and tamarisk blooms into the evening breeze.

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

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

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

Follow in her wake. 

Take stock of your vintage,
review your winter larders,
examine your cupboards wares, your storage of woolens,
inner and outer resources,
and move one step beyond.

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 your form.

Seek forgiveness from others whom you have wounded,
wittingly and unwittingly,
by words and by actions.


Speak words
which stick in your craw like
leftover morning gruel clings to the pot,
and ask for forgiveness, and
grant forgiveness. 

Forgive yourself whom you have wounded,
wittingly and unwittingly,
by words and by actions.

Look at yourself,
which stings, like lemon juice in a open wound,
and ask forgiveness and
grant forgiveness.

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 your being.

Wash yourself clean.

To  be fresh again,
shine again,
to stand restored, pure as first made.
To rise as your true beautiful self.


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.


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

That I might sing my songs,
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