Between Consolation and Forgiveness

Our Jewish way of life can be defined as a series of life-in-cycles. We currently live in the cycle bracketed by Tisha b’Av and Rosh HaShana: the seven weeks (more or less) occupying the space in between have the dual spiritual tone of Consolation and Forgiveness. Consolation arrives in the wake of Tisha b’Av’s commemorating the disaster of the Holy Temple twice destroyed and not yet rebuilt, giving way to a period of seeking Forgiveness during the month of Elul, which signals us that the Days of Awe lie ahead a mere 30 days. That signal first appears this Sunday, when the second of a 2-day Rosh Hodesh welcomes Elul. During Elul, we sound the shofar during weekday Shaharit, as a reminder of Elul’s opportunity to right wrongs we may have committed against others and thereby earn inscription the Book of Life during the Days of Awe.

May HaShem inspire us to sense the unique spiritual nature of Elul, leading us to engage in the Forgiveness work it heralds.