Our tradition teaches that Elul can be seen as an acronym for the phrase from Shir Hashirim, ani ledodi vedodi li (I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine). Holding this to heart, we enter this month with love, seeking to get closer to the Divine as though we are reunited with a beloved. May we open our hearts with love, creating space for transformation as we welcome in the Yamim Nora’im.
Rabbi James Jacobson Maisels: A Meditation Practice for Elul
Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels, PhD, is the founder and spiritual director of Or HaLev: A Center for Jewish Spirituality and Meditation and the founding Rosh Yeshiva of Romemu Yeshiva, a new contemplative yeshiva that combines study and practice. He has taught Jewish thought, mysticism, spiritual practices, and meditation at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, at Haifa University, and at Yeshivat Hadar as well as in a variety of other settings around the world.
Joy Ladin: Poetry for Teshuva
Joy Ladin, the David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Stern College for Women at Yeshiva University, has published nine books of poetry and two books of creative nonfiction, Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders, and The Soul of the Stranger: Reading God and Torah from a Transgender Perspective. She serves on the board of Keshet, an organization devoted to full inclusion of LGTBQ Jews and their families in the Jewish world; links to her poems and essays are available at wordpress.joyladin.com.
Breaking Down Elul’s Invitation to Love Again
Get the breakdown! Explore this series of resources that explain the essentials of the Yamim Nora’im. What does love poetry have to do with preparing for Rosh Hashanah? Learn more here.
Judaism Unbound Podcast: What’s Love God to Do With It?
On the Judaism Unbound podcast, Lex Rofeberg and Wendie Lash connect the month of Elul to love, looking at the book of Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs) through a contemporary lens.
Songs of Love for Elul
Explore music inspired by Jewish and secular texts as a means to enter Elul with a loving and full heart. This playlist curated by the BJ team will set the tone for the month. Featured artists include Leonard Cohen, Moshav, Deborah Sacks Mintz, and Peter, Paul and Mary.
All You Need (in Elul) is Love!
The Jewish month of Elul has arrived, and we are starting to prepare our minds and souls for the High Holy Days, which are coming next month. Family Life and Learning at BJ invites you and your family to begin the journey toward Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by watching this video and exploring the ways in which we each show and receive love.
Breaking Down Elul
Explore this series of resources that describe the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the Holy Days and help you go a little deeper in the process.
Sandee Brawarsky: Elul By The Book
Sandee Brawarsky has been the longtime culture editor of The Jewish Week and recently received the Simon Rockower Award for Excellence in Jewish Journalism. She has authored several books, most recently 212 Views of Central Park: Experiencing New York City’s Jewel from Every Angle with photographer Mick Hales.
Nizakher Venikatev: A Reflective Guide for Our Spiritual Journey
Looking to get rooted in the spiritual work of this season? Check out the first installment of Nizakher Venikatev, a reflective guide filled with questions to consider as we engage in the heart-opening work of this sacred time leading into the High Holy Days.