September 7, 2016 · 4:15 pm
Rosh Hodesh by Laya Crust
Elul and September, 5776…2016
Elul and September started at about the same time on the calendar this year.
In Judaism there is a beautiful prayer we say as we greet each new month:
May it be Your will, Lord our Gd….to renew for us this coming month for good and blessing. Grant us a long life, a life of peace, a life of goodness, a life of blessing, a life of sustenance, a life of physical health, a life marked by reverence for heaven and dread of misdeeds, a life without shame or disgrace, a life of richness and honour, a life with love for Torah and reverence for good, a life in which our heart desires are fulfilled for good.
“Joy” by Laya Crust
September is a time of new beginnings. Students of various ages begin school and university. Employees say goodbye to the summer and start their work knowing autumn and winter are approaching.
Elul is a different type of beginning and ending. It is the beginning of looking forward to Rosh HaShana, the Jewish new year. It is a time of reflection and self improvement. The letters of the month of Elul (אלול) are the first letters in the words אני לדודי ודודי לי, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” So- Elul is a time of love…not just for our husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, but a time of giving love to those around us.
I was in the airport yesterday. A gentleman moved his luggage and then moved himself so a friend and I could sit together. I thanked him and we had a lovely conversation. At the end of the conversation he gave me his card.
As we go forward in September and in Elul, let’s remember the prayers for the new month. Let’s try to be happier, feel blessed and share our blessings with those around us. And thank-you, Chris Rudge, for your daily commitment to Random Acts of Kindness.
Have a good month filled with love, health , peace and fulfillment.
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Tagged as acts of kindness, art, art history, bible, biblical art, blessing, Elul, fulfillment, God, goodness, health, heaven, kindness, new month, peace, Rosh Hodesh, September, torah
September 2, 2015 · 4:46 pm
art by Laya Crust
Elul and August are interesting, almost “limbo” or liminal months. August heralds the ending of summer, freedom for children, outdoor meals. It is the entry to autumn and responsibility. Elul follows the serious month of Av and is accompanied by the haftarot of consolation. Elul is the precursor to Rosh haShana and Yom Kippur- days of self reflection and repentance.
But what about joy? My lovely cousin Gwen shared the idea of bringing joy to each day of Elul. I found joy among the weeds.
Rose Hips by Laya Crust
I am lucky enough to live a five minute walk from a beautiful ravine. As I walked there this week I looked around at all the tiny bursts of colour we tend to overlook as we walk.
The first amazing sight was a mullein. It is a weed that has grown to about 2 1/2 meters- about 8 feet high!
So many lovely flowers- how many can you name?
Walking through the woods seeing weeds, flowers, thistles, berries, seed pods and brilliantly coloured leaves was its own holiday. If we look around and notice the nature around us we can leave our worries behind for a few minutes and feel joy. Being outside with these natural things- whether we are downtown or on a trail surrounded by trees and bushes we can feel the sun or rain or breeze and allow ourselves to abandon seriousness for moments of peace of mind.
Go ahead and do it! Bring joy to each day of Elul! Hug a tree, smell a flower, or pick up a pretty leaf.
And let me know if you recognize all the flower/weed photos I took.
Have a wonderful week and a Shabbat Shalom, Laya
P.S. You can find the answers in the “tags”.
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Tagged as 3 weeks, art, art history, August, bible, Bible stories, black eyed Susan, chicory, colour, cone flower, day lily, echinacea, Elul, feild daisy, flowering raspberry, flowers, goldenrod, joy, lady's slipper, loosestrife, mullein, nature, Queen Anne's Lace, rag weed, scotch thistle, summer, teasel, thistle, weeds