Elul, the month of transformation

ElulThe month of Elul is one of the most astonishing months of the Hebrew calendar. It is laden with the deepest, heavenly riches of powerful, transformative meaning waiting to be uncovered and utilized. Riches, in the Jewish religion, are spiritual riches which translate to spiritual power and light.

Elul is called “the month of repentance,” “the month of mercy,” and “the month of forgiveness.” It is the month of spiritual preparation for the New Year and the High Holidays of Tishrei. The powers embedded in Elul are released through soul searching, self introspection, making amends and, most importantly, drawing closer to the KING OF KINGS who meets us in the field. Elul is about our connection to ourselves, the world and the Divine.  

According to the Kabbalistic book, “Sefer Yitzirah” each Hebrew month has multi-dimensional aspects that channel Divine emanations and powers into the month: a specific color, Hebrew letter, zodiac sign, one of the twelve tribes, a sense and a controlling limb. The Hebrew letter for Elul is the Yud which is the first letter of G-d’s essential name, manifesting as mercy. Yud also represents the reclamation of fragmentation which enables us to reclaim our sovereignty. The tribe for Elul is Gad who was a master of boundaries and a gifted fighter. Gad is the warrior within us striving to right wrongs and rectify our actions. The zodiac sign is Virgo…virgin which represents purity of essence. The sense is action which according to Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh is the sense and inner knowledge that through devoted deeds of goodness, one is always able to rectify any blemish or broken state of the soul. The controller is the left hand which controls the sense of action. Rabbi Ginsburgh says that it is the left hand which touches the heart. This teaches us that all rectified action derives from the good emotions and intentions of the heart. These powerful revelations enable us to tap into the rhythms of the month thereby helping us strengthen our capacity to connect with these deeper insights and dimensions. Once we do this, we can unleash our own Divine potential as it flows through the extraordinary channels embedded in the month.

60DaysOne of the most powerful, user friendly and insightful books that enables me to utilize the power embedded in the month of Elul is called “60 Days, A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays” by Simon Jacobson. The jacket of this book states, “60 Days, helps us tap into the special energy of the time period by providing a specific day to day plan that addresses the different areas of work necessary to achieve reconciliation and renewal, sanctity and joy.” I highly recommend this fabulous book to utilize in Elul and Tishrei and throughout the year.

Rabbi Jacobson reminds us that Elul is the month of accounting and reflection. He writes that how we account for the past is how we prepare for the future. He goes on to say that Elul means searching; we search for the mistakes we made and the things that trip us up and prevent us from moving forward. When we take an honest look at what is blocking us in relation to the greatness of our soul that is revealed in this month, we feel the possibility of self transformation and this gives us HOPE and FAITH in G-d’s unconditional love and mercy. Rabbi Jacobson reminds us that Moshe’s unwavering faith in G-d’s mercy has gifted us with the power embedded in the month of Elul. He says that true hope is relentless, persistent and eternal. It is absolute belief in G-d and His infinite power of forgiveness and compassion, absolute faith in us and absolute faith in the unconditional love between us and G-d. He states that during Elul we are on a journey of building a true and enduring relationship with G-d even after it has been challenged. He gives us the knowledge and the tools to break the false idols that block access to our true selves. He reminds us that whatever we truly desire to change, it is possible to the extent that we really desire it. Our work is to identify issues that need attention and then invest in the work to reach the goal of self refinement and transformation. Then, G-d will show us the landscape of our soul.

Elul comes with a sense of purpose and deep meaning that enables us to tap into the hidden resources of our Jewish spirit. Elul brings with it a never ending cycle of transformation allowing us to release the dead matter in our lives. It is a time of expansiveness. It is an opportunity in time when we can take heart and gather the courage to uncover the places in our soul, personality, emotions and psyche that need refinement and strengthening to move beyond the horizon of self so that the wings of our soul can take flight. Elul brings with it the possibility of profound closure, as we attempt to refine and rectify damaged relationships with G-d, self and others.  When we embrace forgiveness and humbly choose to make self directed corrections, we can bring about a rebalanced spirit that permeates and impacts ourselves and the world. From this extraordinary shift, we reclaim our inner knowing and tap into our true power as children of the KING OF KINGS endowed with magnificent power and light.

We know, at the deepest level, that the human spirit is endowed with the innate power to confront our human weaknesses and failings and transform them. In the month of Elul we are aided in our quest for self discovery in order to bring about our healing and transformation. When we continue to walk in the shadow of dysfunction, we block our vast soul illumination, as we forget our true power. As we embrace the light and healing power of returning to our truest selves, we courageously stand tall in our power of G-dliness and create a spiritual, nuclear explosion to be felt in the world. Through the incredible opportunity available in this precious month, we can restore ourselves…our truest selves to a place of deep contentment and inner harmony as we enter into the New Year. Seize the moment my friends…it is far too precious to pass up.

I Bless you all to be aided in your quest for wholeness, light and forgiveness. I Bless you to expand your light beyond your former limits and I Bless you to allow nothing to imprison your progress nor stand in the way of expanding your light in this Holy world. May you all be written and sealed for an extraordinary year of health, livelihood, inner joy, sweet, peaceful relationship and a deeper walk with Our Father, Our King….The  Holy One, Blessed Be He.

 With love, Ariella Bracha


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