Tag Archives: Elul

Skies, Elul Poem, Shabbat Poem

The photograph above was taken this morning, while walking my grandie to kindergarten. I thought it was complimentary to the poem “Shabbat Day”, by Dobra Levitt.

Shabbat Day

By Dobra Levitt

Skies of other worlds
In the blue-bright air,
Sides of houses
Edge eternity.
Clay-red roofs
Where pigeons – mincing – walk,
Fly the doves – the whir and flutter
Of their soaring wings.
Soundless the yellow butterfly
At its play.
Winds lift white clouds
And sift the sand
From earth-bound stones –
Exalted the light
Of this dazzling Day,
Yet strangely close to home.

Elul begins August 19 and ends September 16, 2012. I found this poem, by Rachel Barenblat, that spoke to me on many levels.

Immersion

If you offer Fortune a beer
she giggles, demurs, because she’s
“born again.” I’m not exactly sure
what that means in Ghanaian parlance
though I imagine a lake baptism
like the one I saw in Galilee,
robes billowing against dark water.

Rebirth is always metaphor.
Forty days to refocus, like a lens,
then Yom Kippur’s labor, singing
and praying, hoping against hope
this year the old words
and hunger’s familiar pangs
will bear new meaning.

The closest I’ve come
was that week on retreat, sitting
until pins crept up my calves, then
walking the fireweed fields rapt
in my prayer shawl. Friday afternoon
we shucked modesty, plunged
in the swimming pool, laughing

and blessing, then a hot tub dunk
to welcome the Sabbath bride.
We could dip each week in those waters.
We could sanctify every morsel.
We could open our eyes and be thankful,
could dwell in that house all the days
of our lives. And we don’t. And that’s

okay. The goldenrod always blooms
five weeks before first frost
and these forty days are for pausing
relearning the Name in every breath
preparing to be open to awe
again, to be ready
to make ourselves born.

Rachel Barenblat

Shabbat Shalom!

Visit Skywatch Friday for more sky photographs from around the world.

August 17, 2012 – 29 Av, 5772

Copyright 2007, L.M. No permission is given to reproduce, copy or use my writings or photographs in any manner.

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Filed under Judaism, Photography

Time – Elul is Almost Upon Us

Time has a way of moving forward, and before we know it, the High Holy Days will be upon us. Elul – 1 Av, is the month preceding the Days of Awe, and the entire month should be devoted to introspection, reflection, considering the Mitzvah/Mitzvot we have undertaken, and the kindnesses we have shown and shared. It is also a time for reviewing our spirituality and whether we have moved forward with it, and it is a time to pray and forgive. Forgiving does not mean we agree with the other person/persons, we are simply forgiving them for what we see or feel they have negatively done to us. It is a way of letting go of harbored anger or thoughts regarding another or others, and thus, by releasing the feelings and thoughts, we can move forward, using our energy towards positiveness.

There are several books that I recommend to those of you who might be seeking comfort and inspiration, and below I have listed two of them:

– If you like inspiring prose, stories that will illuminate your thoughts and emotions, then Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth: Inspiring Tales to Nourish the Heart and Soul, by Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins is a book for you.

Each tale in this wonderful and radiant book is one that the reader can take away with them, hold on to, and browse through again, when they feel they need an uplift.

The stories are gleaned from newspaper articles, books, and many other sources. The book is formatted into nine sections, and each section has a different topic or subject, and each section contains stories that are pertinent to the particular topic. The subjects vary, but are mainly ones that deal with religious and life-affirming qualities and values, the Holocaust and Israel.

From the humorous to the poignant, the stories blend together with beautifully and powerfully written prose. Jewish Stories from Heaven and Earth gives the reader much food for contemplation, and gives the reader a strong sense of the various Jewish values that are important in the scheme of Jewish daily living.

Life is a Test: How to Meet Life’s Challenges Successfully, by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis is an excellent book. Using Torah, Talmud and other sources to demonstrate her thoughts and dictum, Jungreis gives the reader examples to follow, and paints a picture of how we can move towards the goals of changing our life style and our lives for a better cause and purpose. She guides the reader, step by step up the ladder of success in meeting our full potential.

Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis’ book is a must have for those who feel they are floundering, and feel they are being tested by the struggles and adversity presented before them. Life is a Test is a building block to help one succeed in their goals, succeed in making correct choices, and succeed in understanding the illuminations that self-discovery brings them.

I will suggest more books in an upcoming post.

August 15, 2012 – 27 Av, 5772

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Filed under Book Reviews, Judaism, Non-Fiction, Photography