High Holy DaysWeekly reflections

A Message for the Month of Ellul

Today sees us enter the month of Ellul- marking a month before the High Holy Days and the Jewish New Year at Rosh Hashanah. Among the customs associated with the month of Ellul is that we now begin the process of thinking back through the past twelve months, the decisions that we’ve made, our actions, our relationships with others and ourselves as we get ready for the Yomim Nora’im– the Days of Awe. It’s a lot to consider, especially this year of all years, which is why instead of cramming it all into that 10 day period from Rosh Hashanah through Yom Kippur, Jewish tradition helps us by giving us this extra month to encourage us to pace ourselves; to descend gently into the holidays so that once we reach Rosh Hashanah, we are already spiritually and emotionally more grounded and attuned and hence, well set for the deep reflection and spiritual replenishment of the High Holy Days.

To help us to start our reflective journey in good time, our own Rabbi Richard Jacobi had the idea of bringing together rabbis and speakers from both Liberal and Reform movements and creating a podcast based on themes from the Autumn Jewish festivals. And we are delighted to announce that the series was launched yesterday! It’s called ‘Progressively Jewish’ and is a collaboration between Liberal Judaism, Reform Judiasm and the Leo Baeck College. The first two podcasts are available now on Spotify and the series will run initially for 60 days, taking us right through Ellul, the High Holy Days and beyond. We will hear from a number of progressive Jewish voices representing the richness and diversity within our community who will guide us through different opprtunities to reflect and to learn. As Rabbi Richard says, “I am thrilled to be launching a new podcast that we think will be helpful, interesting, and uplifting to all who listen”.

So, I hope you may take the opportunity to listen and please do pass on your thoughts on what you hear. The podcast can be accessed here. Please ‘follow’ in order to be notified as each new episode is released. If you would like technical advice on how to listen, please get in touch at the email address below.

Wishing you a restful Shabbat, a reflective Ellul and Shana tovah!

Nick Young (community.development@elels.org.uk)
Community Development Manager

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