This Shabbat coincides with Rosh Hodesh Elul- the first day of the month of Elul. We are lucky to be part of a tradition that celebrates so much. Each week we celebrate Shabbat- a day to rest and relax with friends and family. Throughout the year we have holidays- each with their own special prayers and traditions. And each month we celebrate the new month.
Rosh Hodesh is a time of renewal. It is graced by a tefillah (prayer) which reads like a poem, wishing for all good things. On the Shabbat before Rosh Hodesh we say the following:
Renew for us this coming month for good and blessing.
Grant us long life,
a life of peace,
a life of goodness,
a life of blessing
a life of sustenance,
a life of health,
a life marked by reverence for heaven and dread of sin,
a life without shame or disgrace,
a life of wealth and honour,
a life in which we have
love for Torah and reverence for heaven,
a life in which our heart desires are fulfilled for good.
The sentiments are beautiful. They provide positive thoughts to take with us through the month until we are renewed again.
The haftarah for this Shabbat is Isaiah, chapter 66. The chapter begins with the words, “”The heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.” It made me think of the celestial bodies in the sky- the heavens inhabited by Gd and the earth way down below. The end of the chapter mentions the new moon and every Sabbath- represented here by two new moons and four weeks of Shabbat candles between.
Summer is moving closer to autumn. The evenings are cooling down, the flowers are still bright and vivd. Enjoy this new month of ELUL. May it be a month of peace, blessing and health.
Have a good Shabbat,