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Expanse and Elul

Friday, August 31st, 2012 9:00 am by admin

from September 2011..

Happy Fall Dear Friends and Family!

This summer has been all about meeting my boundaries and exploring beyond .  I give it a top 10 for the richness of feelings and growth.  I’m thinking that the poet who wrote  אלו פינו מלא שירה כים  Ilu finu malei shira kayam

Even if our mouths were full of song as the sea
and our lips full of praise as wide as they sky’s expanse
and were our eyes to give off light like sun and moon
We could never thank You or acknolwedge You enough, Source of Life." (see below for full exerpt)

probably visited the places I traveled to this summer: the mountains of Alaska, the seas of the Carribean, the woods of Michigan, the rivers of North Carolina.  Every day I found myself at the very edge of my capabilities, a choice to be made – tiptoe/crash forward or smile a greeting to myself and sit quietly with me.   Every day was a journey of self-discovery.

And now the Hebrew month of Elul is upon us, 30 days that lead up to the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana, and the Jewish day of at-One-ment, Yom Kippur.  This is our very special opportunity, as we prepare for these Highest of Holidays to check in with ourselves.  To re-meet, re-align and to work towards wellness for ourselves and our community.

As we work towards closeness with ourseves over these next few weeks, I want to offer you a few tools.

In Aramaic, the word "Elul" means search.  The Talmud writes that the Hebrew word "Elul" can be expanded as an acronym for " אני לדודי ודודי לי  Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li" – "I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine". Elul is a time to search one’s heart and draw close to our self and to our Source.  No doubt, for each person this could mean many  different things.  For me, it all begins with choosing to be friends with myself, with my insides, my outsides, my demons, my dark and my light.  This summer I spent my days in the expanse of creation and I could not help but realize that it was me.  That I am a reflection of this expanse and that I am very very big, whether a speck of dust or the shining rays of the midnight sun .  So this year as I prepare my heart for the Big Check In, I will not limit myself with the distraction of what I am not, but rather reflect, search and honor what I am.

Shana Tovah uM’tukah, Wishing You a Sweet and Happy New Year!

"Nishmat is considered one of the masterpieces of Jewish liturgy. It is seen as a journey of self-discovery, describing G-d as a source of prayer… In this prayer, the word Nishmat (breath) that begins the prayer is related to the word neshama (soul), suggesting that the soul is part of the breath of all life." (from Wikipedia)

Excerpt from the Nishmat prayer in the Shabbat morning service…

Even if our mouths were full of song as the sea,
and our tongues full of joy in countless waves,
and our lips full of praise as wide as they sky’s expanse,
and were our eyes to give off light like sun and moon:
if our hands were spread out like heaven’s eagles
and our feet swift like young dear,
we could never thank You and acknowledge You enough, Source of Life.
(translation based on Mishkan Tefilah)

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Posted in Activities for home and classroom, Holidays, Resources, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur