We are now coming to the
close of the 40 days of wrath, when Moses is unsuccessful
in gaining G-ds pardon for the peoples grave sin
of worshipping a false god, the Golden Calf. This coincides
with the end of the month of Av, the saddest month of the
Yet, from within this wrath
is born true hope and renewal: This last Shabbat of Av blesses
the next month of Elul, the month of compassion, when Moses
returns to the mountain for the final 40 days, which successfully
conclude with Yom Kippur.
Appropriately we bring you
an excerpt from 60 DAYS: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays,
a new book from Simon Jacobson, which will be available next
Imagine the scene:
A spouse has betrayed his or her partner in the
worst possible waydefiled the very essence of their relationship.
That fragile thing called trust has been broken.
The presenting challenge is this:
Can this damaged relationship be mended, can it
be rebuilt after such profound betrayal? For 40 days, a
faithful shepherd attempts to mediate. He cajoles, begs,
prays, does everything he possibly can to reconcile between
the partners. But to no avail.
Now the compelling question is this:
Should he give up or should he continue to persist
in his attempts for reconciliation? No small question. Not only
the relationship, but life itself hangs in the balance.
This is the essence of the month of Elul.
The Jewish people had betrayed G-d in the worst
possible way: they built a Golden Calf a mere 39 days after
an encounter with G-d at Mt. Sinai, which was the most momentous
event in history! And after they had explicitly accepted G-ds
commandment not to worship others gods!
Seeing what they had done, Moses shatters the
tablets he received from G-d, and returns to the mountain for
40 days to pray for the peoples forgiveness. But to no
avail. G-d will not relent and forgive. These 40 days are called
Days of Wrath.
But Moses does not give up. After 40 days of tortuous
pleading, unperturbed, he returns to the mountain for yet another
From his unwavering faith in G-ds mercy
comes the power of Elul. It is the power of hope. True
hoperelentless, persistent, unwavering. Eternal hopeabsolute
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. (Because after all, when we betray
G-d we also betray ourselvesour soul, our essence, our
Divine calling and ultimate mission in life.)
Finally, Moses does prevail40 days later
on Yom Kippur.
Elul is the story of Moses journey.
It is the story of building a true and enduring relationship,
even after it has been challenged. Moses Elul experience
provides us with a special energy of love and compassion during
this month, when the King is in the field and radiates
the Thirteen Attributes of Compassion.
In this month we have the ability to recreate
Moses experience on the mountain. Each of the 29 days of Elul
(beginning with the first day of Rosh Chodesh, the 29th
of Av, for a total of 30 days) we relive each step of
Moses journeyhis prayers, his pleading, his hope.
We work on breaking the golden idols that we worship
and that fill our livesthe false idols that dont
allow us to access our true selves. Each day, as we rebuild
another aspect of our relationship, we grow as Moses did. After
30 days of preparation we are ready to enter into a renewed
relationship with G-dand a renewed relationship with our
own soulson Rosh Hashana. We continue to build the relationship
for the first 10 days of Tishrei, concluding with Yom
Kippur, when we finally are ready for complete reconciliation
as we stand under the chupa with our Divine spouse.
To help us along, Eluland Moses
journey during these daysprovides us with a specific day
by day plan, that covers the entire spectrum of human experience
and addresses the different areas of work necessary to reconcile
and rebuild our relationship with our soul and with G-d.
Change breeds change. If
you change an attitudeit will precipitate other changes
in your life.
Would you like to change
something in you life? Now is the time. Elul is a month
when the doors are open. Special energy radiates in this month.
And by our actions we create containers that channel this unique
radiance (energy) into our lives.
Think of aspects of you
life that you want to change. To make this manageable choose
the most important things that you want to change. Perhaps you
want change in a relationshipto make it better or get
out of an unhealthy one. Or you want to change your single status
and find your soul-mate.
Perhaps you want to change
a psychological pattern that you seem to get stuck in time and
Perhaps you want to change
your job, your place of residence, your status.
Whatever it is you want
to changeElul is the time for it. Unprecedented
doors open up for you now, opportunities that do not come very
Act. Now is the time.
60 DAYS tells the dramatic story of two months
the preparatory month of Elul and the High Holiday month
of Tishrei two months which embody the energy of renewal
after destruction, rebirth after loss, the energy of love and
forgiveness, of empowerment and joy.
60 DAYS is the story of each of our lives, expressed
in perhaps the most relevant and urgent question of our times:
Is there hope after loss? Can we rebuild after destruction?
Finding happiness and self-fulfillment on the
top of a remote mountain is one thing; its quite another
to be able to experience it while immersed in a cruel, material
life. Can we really find truth in a corrupt world? Can we reach
the highest places from our limited place? Can we taste eternity
as mortal creatures? Can we touch heaven even as we stand on
earth? Can we, as people and as nations, ever discover true
The 60-day story of Elul and Tishrei
resolutely answers these questions with a resounding and unequivocal
yes. Yes, there is hope. Yes, we can rebuild. Indeed,
we can find an even greater love than the original one. Yes,
we can marry heaven and earth. And yes, our entire world can
unite in one magnificent symphony, each of us contributing our
To help us along, 60 DAYS which taps
into the special energy of this time period provides
us with a specific day by day plan, that covers the entire
spectrum of human experience and addresses the different areas
of work necessary to achieve reconciliation and renewal, sanctity
and joy in one dance of personal and cosmic transformation.