Elul: A Month of Repentance, Mercy and Forgiveness

Enter the new year clean and pure, in the light

By Anat Schneider | | Topics: Jewish Holidays
Elul is a time of new beginnings.
Photo: Mendy Hechtman/Flash90

In this series, we highlight the upcoming Jewish Holidays, or Hagai Tishrei celebrations and their prophetic and practical significance for today.

According to the Hebrew calendar, we are now in the month of Elul – the end of the year. Elul welcomes in the new year. This is a month of repentance, mercy and forgiveness. It is time for a new beginning.

I want to receive what is coming and new in my life and make peace with what is over and going from my life. There is a deep prayer in the heart for acceptance, along with all the accompanying emotions and fears – facing the unknown, accepting possible change.

In the month of Elul we are all invited to wake up from the drowsiness or idleness that summer and vacation brought. We are all invited to awaken the heart and look anew into its content – to do a spiritual “house cleaning.” Is my heart busy? Carrying unnecessary burdens? Are there blockages in the heart that prevent us from seeing the light?

King David said it this way:

”Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23–24 NKJV)

What have we done well this year? What are we happy with?

What was wrong with us? What are we complaining about?

Where would we like to change?

For these things that we lack, that block us – if we do not take time and look at them, they will get worse. The heart will be busier, will be in a shadow.

We want to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts, dwelling within us (Psalms 51:10-11). In order to understand what it signals to us, we must remove the screens and barriers. These can be the sadness, pain, frustration, disappointment, the desire for more than what we have.

The month of Elul helps us break free from old perceptions, troubles and suffocating barriers. The month of Elul gives us an opportunity for change, time to look for the answers, what we really want and what will help us and enable change.

All this is in order to enter the new year clean and pure, in the light.

All this is for the sake of feeling and hearing the sound of the living “wind,” the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.

”Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:10-11)


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