The Shofar Call of Elul

Elul is the sixth calendar month of the biblical calendar year. It is also the last month of the civil year when counting from Tishrei. The name "Elul" is the Babylonian name of the month. The Bible also refers to this month as Elul, as in Nehemiah 6:15, "So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month of Elul..." Because of the approaching new year and the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the month of Elul is focused on repentance and reconciliation. Special prayers called Selichot (forgiveness) are recited during this month. These...

TOPICSElul, forgiveness, mercy, reconciliation, repentance, selichot, shofar

Time for Teshuvah

The traditions and customs of Elul are centered on one thing—teshuvah, repentance. With the approach of Rosh Hashanah, the Days of Awe, and Yom Kippur, Elul is dedicated to preparing oneself for these appointed times. Everything from special prayers of s'lichot (forgiveness), the blowing of the shofar after shacharit morning prayers, renewing one's yearly giving of tzedakah (righteous giving), to reciting Psalm 27 as an additional daily prayer, Elul is a month filled with introspection, confession, and restitution. It is at this time of year that we especially take a look at our relationships with brothers and sisters. Traditionally, this...

TOPICSElul, forgiveness, introspection, repentance, restitution, selichot, teshuvah, tzedakah