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The Month of Elul
Answer Me - By <a href=''/k18052''>Devorah Weinberg</a>
Answer Me - By Devorah Weinberg

Elul is the 12th and final month in the Jewish calendar. It is a month that connects the past year with the coming year—a time when we reflect on where we stand and where we should be going.

It is called “the month of repentance,” “the month of mercy” and “the month of forgiveness.” Elul follows the two previous months of Tammuz and Av—months of tragedies that were brought upon us through our sins. In Tammuz, the Jews sinned with the golden calf; on Rosh Chodesh Elul, Moses ascended to Mount Sinai for a third 40-day period until Yom Kippur, when he descended with the second tablets (luchot) and G‑d’s word of joyful, wholehearted forgiveness. (The first time Moses ascended was to receive the first tablets; the second time was after the sin, to ask for forgiveness; and this third time was to receive the second set of tablets.) These were days when G‑d revealed to the Jewish people great mercy. Since then, this time has been designated as a time of mercy and forgiveness, an opportune time for teshuvah—repentance.

The four letters of the name Elul are an acronym for the phrase in “Song of Songs” (6:3): “I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me.” “I am to my beloved”—we approach G‑d with a desire to return and connect. “And my beloved is to me”—G‑d reciprocates with Divine expressions of mercy and forgiveness.

This is the month when “the King is in the field.”

G‑d, the King of all Kings, is accessible. All can approach Him, and He shines His countenance to all.

Elul Features
The feminine modality for change
It is the most powerful of human emotions. We all crave it. We cannot live without it.
The peasant behind his plow has access to the king in a manner unavailable to the highest ranking minister…
The Baal Shem Tov displayed a remarkable affection for simple, pious folk.
We’ve used stamps to create an endearing Shanah Tovah card for Rosh Hashanah.
When I found that they had gone out in the boat, I was frantic for I remembered that the boat had a leak!
What does it mean that G‑d is in the field? And what am I supposed to do about it, if anything?
We are supposed to do "an accounting of the soul." Though I have a bachelor's degree in mathematics, I still can't figure this one out.
Elul Calendar
Special Days in Elul
18 Elul Chai Elul
Baal Shem Tov born (1698). Chassidic Movement founded (1734). After many years as a member of the society of "hidden tzaddikim", living under the...
25 Elul Creation of the World
The 1st day of creation, on which G-d created existence, time, matter, darkness and light, was the 25th of Elul. (Rosh Hashanah, on which we...
29 Elul Erev Rosh Hashanah
The eve of Rosh Hashanah. Tzemach Tzeddek (third Chabad rebbe) born (1789). (1698).
Jewish History In Elul
1 Elul
1313 BCE Moses ascends Sinai for 3rd 40 days
On the early morning of the 1st of Elul of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE) Moses ascended... Read More »
2 Elul
1555 Shulchan Aruch Completed (Orech Chaim)
The first section of the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) authored by Rabbi Joseph Caro... Read More »
3 Elul
1935 Passing of Rabbi A. I. Kook
Elul 3 is the yahrtzeit of the first Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi (in modern times) of the Religious... Read More »
5 Elul
1777 First Chassidic Aliya
The first Chassidic aliyah ("ascent" - immigration to the Holy Land), led by Rabbi Menachem Mendel of... Read More »
7 Elul
1394 BCE Moses' parents remarry
Amram and Jocheved had separated because of Pharaoh's decree that all male Jewish babies be killed.... Read More »
1312 BCE Spies die
The Spies who slandered the Land of Israel died in the desert (Talmud, Sotah 35a; see Numbers 13-14... Read More »
8 Elul
1790 Washington Responds to Newport Jews
The sexton of the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, wrote a heart warming letter to... Read More »
9 Elul
1267 Nachmanides Renews Jerusalem community
Nachmanides (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, 1194-1270) arrived in Jerusalem, after being forced to flee his... Read More »
10 Elul
2105 BCE Noah Dispatches Raven
On the 10th of Elul of the year 1656 from creation (2105 BCE), as the Great Flood neared its end... Read More »
11 Elul
1542 Completion of Yosef Caro's Commentary
In 1522, Rabbi Yosef Caro started writing the Beit Yosef, his famous commentary on the Arba Turim... Read More »
1875 Rashab's marriage
Marriage of the fifth Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Schneersohn ("Rashab"... Read More »
12 Elul
1194 Nachmanides Born
Birth of Nachmanides ("Ramban", Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, 1194-1270) -- Torah scholar, Kabbalist... Read More »
1929 Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe visits US
On the 12th of Elul (September 16) of 1929, two years after escaping a death sentence imposed upon... Read More »
13 Elul
1897 R. Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn's marriage
Marriage of the 6th Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (1880-1950), to... Read More »
1909 Passing of Ben Ish Chai
Elul 13 is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yosef Chaim of Baghdad (1835-1909), the renowned Sephardic... Read More »
15 Elul
1897 Tomchei Temimim Founded
The Yeshivah "Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch", the first to integrate the "revealed" part of Torah (Talmud... Read More »
17 Elul
2105 BCE Noah Dispatches Dove
Following the failed attempt to dispatch a raven from the ark (see "Today in Jewish History" for Elul... Read More »
1743 R. Schneur Zalman's parents marry
Wedding day of Rabbi Baruch and Rebbetzin Rivkah, the parents of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi... Read More »
18 Elul
1609 Passing of Maharal
Elul 18 is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Yehudah Loewe, the "Maharal" of Prague (1525-1609), outstanding... Read More »
1698 Baal Shem Tov Born
Elul 18 is the birthday of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Chassidism Rabbi Israel was... Read More »
1734 Chassidic Movement Founded
After many years as a member of the society of "hidden tzaddikim", living under the guise of an... Read More »
1745 1st Chabad Rebbe Born
Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1812), founder of the "Chabad" branch of Chassidism, was born on... Read More »
23 Elul
2105 BCE Dove brings Olive Leaf
On the 301st day of the great Flood, Noah sent a dove for the 2nd time from the ark (see "Today in... Read More »
2001 9/11 Terrorist Attacks
On a sunny fall morning, Islamic terrorists hijacked four commercial passenger airplanes. Two were... Read More »
24 Elul
1933 Passing of Chafetz Chaim
Elul 24 is the yahrtzeit of the revered Torah scholar, pietist and Jewish leader Rabbi Yisrael Meir... Read More »
25 Elul
3761 BCE Creation of the World
The 1st day of creation, on which G-d created existence, time, matter, darkness and light, was the... Read More »
335 BCE Jerusalem Walls Rebuilt
The rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem -- which had been in ruins since the destruction of the... Read More »
2nd century CE Passing of Rabbi Elazar
Passing of the Talmudic sage Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Shimon bar... Read More »
1786 Passing of R. Michel of Zlotchov
Passing of Rabbi Yechiel Michel of Zlotchov (1721?-1786), disciple of the Baal Shem... Read More »
27 Elul
1855 Passing of Belzer Rebbe
Elul 27 is the yahrtzeit of Rabbi Shalom Rokeach (1779-1855), founder of the Belz Chassidic... Read More »
29 Elul
1789 Tzemach Tzeddek Born
The third Chabad Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn of Lubavitch (1789-1866), was born on the... Read More »
Laws & Customs For Elul
1 Elul
Today is the second of the two Rosh Chodesh ("Head of the Month") days for the month of Elul (when a... Read More »
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionally a time of introspection and stocktaking... Read More »
From the beginning of Elul and throughout the High Holiday season, we include the blessing "May you... Read More »
2 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
3 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking... Read More »
4 Elul
During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we... Read More »
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
5 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
6 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
7 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
Once a month, as the moon waxes in the sky, we recite a special blessing called Kiddush Levanah... Read More »
8 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
9 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
10 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
11 Elul
During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we... Read More »
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
12 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
13 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
14 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
15 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
16 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
17 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking... Read More »
18 Elul
"Chai Elul" (Hebrew for "the 18th of Elul," also meaning "the life of Elul") is celebrated by the... Read More »
Elul, the last month of the Jewish year, is a month devoted to stocktaking and introspection. A... Read More »
During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we... Read More »
A Chai Elul... Read More »
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
19 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking... Read More »
20 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
21 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
22 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
23 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
24 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
25 Elul
Each month, on the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh, we bless the upcoming new month with a special... Read More »
During the summer months, from the Shabbat after Passover until the Shabbat before Rosh Hashahah, we... Read More »
The series of Selichot ("supplication") prayers recited in preparation for the "Days of Awe" of Rosh... Read More »
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
26 Elul
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
27 Elul
The Selichot ("supplication") prayers are recited in the early morning hours, before the morning... Read More »
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
28 Elul
The Selichot ("supplication") prayers are recited in the early morning hours, before the morning... Read More »
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
29 Elul
Today is the last day of the Jewish year, and a day of preparation for Rosh Hashanah ("Head of the... Read More »
Tachnun (confession of sins) and similar prayers are... Read More »
The Shofar is not sounded on the day before Rosh Hashanah, to separate between the shofar soundings... Read More »
Following the morning services, Hatarat Nedarim, the annulment of vows, is performed (the text for... Read More »
It is customary visit the the graves of the righteous on this day and pray there, as the resting... Read More »
When Shabbat occurs immediately following a festival -- as it does this year -- an "eruv tavshilin"... Read More »
The festival of Rosh Hashanah, marking the start of a new Jewish year, begins this evening at... Read More »
As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking ... Read More »
Jewish Women's Events
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Rosh Chodesh
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What Is Rosh Chodesh?
The Jewish calendar follows the lunar year. The renewal of the moon, marks the beginning of the month. Rosh Chodesh, which means ‘head of the month’ celebrates the start of a new month on the Jewish calendar.

Throughout history our light has waxed and waned. But even in utter darkness, it has never been extinguished.

More About Rosh Chodesh
A Monthly Holiday for Women
The special connection between women and Rosh Chodesh harks way back to the episode of the Golden Calf, when the women refused to surrender their jewelry for use in making the idol. As a reward, they were given Rosh Chodesh as a special Holiday for women.

Rosh Chodesh celebrates the monthly renewal of the moon, after it wanes to the point of disappearance. Thus Rosh Chodesh celebrates the concept of perpetuity despite life’s peaks and plunges. It is the woman who through her steadfast faith that ensures our nation’s survival; it is she who ensures that no matter how much we wane, we will always be renewed.

More on the Women Connection
~ In honor of the Gold family of Montreal ~