Download Now »

The Month of Elul

Preparing for the New Year

Why Self-Control Is Overrated
5 Keys to Changing Your Nature
For all our efforts, bad habits are more easily formed than broken.
Elul Meditation: Return to Yourself
Elul is not just a month of trembling before G‑d.
A Pen as Your Shovel: Digging for Hidden Treasures
If we would dig, we would be surprised by the treasures we would find.
What I Want to Tell My Friend, the Shoplifter
Daniela (not her real name) was an old friend, a very old friend, and it pained me to hear that once again she was in trouble.
Seven Thoughts About Elul to Help Us Turn Inward and Forgive
Welcome to the month of turning inward, the month of forgiveness, the month of spiritual accounting, the month of deepening.
10 (Doable) Steps to Forgiveness
A grudge is a very heavy thing to bear.
Sometimes, I Question: Is It the Beginning or the End?
Life isn’t about walking in a straight line and getting past every experience. Life is about coming full circle. You come back to a fear over and over again, like a merry-go-round, round and round. You come back, you confront it, you call out to G‑d to help you, you work on it and keep going.
Teshuvah: Exhilarating or Debilitating?
Judaism is all about growth. When we slip up, we don’t just accept our imperfections and move on, we work to correct them.
The Power of Smallness
Elul’s arrival signals a time for contemplation and reflection.
Divine Communication
As any relationship expert will tell you, while the “grand gesture” is certainly the first step to rectifying a relationship, it cannot end there.
On Prayer, a Stubborn Ego, Ammunition and Peace
I confess: After 35 years of living as an observant woman, I am pretty mediocre and irregular at davening (prayer).
How to Swim to Your Own Program
The important thing for me was just to keep on moving, which I knew was great exercise, even with my sloppy strokes.
I Am Only Beginning to Know
Spiritually, we must internalize the balanced discernment of the mountain climber—simultaneously contented at seeing how far we’ve come and tenaciously eyeing the next mountain we must scale.
Running on Empty
When life seems to have no meaning
She says that she is running on empty. She says that there is vast, useless space inside of her. She looks the same on the outside. But things are subtly falling apart. She is bored literally to tears even though her schedule is full. She can’t find meaning despite the rituals and beliefs that frame her days. She doesn’t want to do anything, but she does everything anyway. She can’t figure out where she went wrong when she was playing by all the rules . . .
Changing Your Head Space
A Rosh Hashanah VideoCast
A Rosh Hashanah greeting from Sara Esther Crispe, editor of
The Jewish Heart
The Secret of Elul
Only when we turn around do we realize the truth, the inner essence, and then we are “face to face”—which does not only mean that we can finally look at each other, but more so, that we can look in each other . . .
Hand in Hand
The Month of Elul
The collective vessel of the people of Israel is an organism unto itself, that has its own life path and journey from birth to maturity . . .
What is Spirituality?
The Month of Elul
I am all too familiar with the fragility of birch trees. Our counselors taught us that if we peeled back the thin white paper-like bark of the birch, we would end its life. The power was in our hands...
The Gift of Enough
An Elul Lesson
My life is filled with blessings. Yet I can easily pass an entire day focusing entirely on what I am lacking. I can get caught up in small frustrations and spend hours agonizing over miniscule losses...
The Month of the Bride
In Song of Songs, which explores the relationship between G-d and Israel through the metaphor of the love between a bride and her groom, we find expressions of both male-initiated and female-initiated love.
Preparation for Rosh Hashanah
The main work for this time is to formulate our goals, visions, and resolutions for the coming year. We are given hints by G-d regarding what we should pray for, both in a positive and negative sense, by awakening in us specific yearnings and fears...
Organizing Your Spiritual Growth
When Rosh Hashanah approaches, our inner critic tends to get louder. "What did you actually do this year? Was it a productive year? Was it a complete waste?"
The Self-Improvement Diet
Anyway, all of this dieting has got me thinking. It’s Elul now, the month when we Jews reevaluate our lives so what does this little tale say about me. There’s a Jewish belief that events in the body can mirror events in the soul. Since I was way off about my corporeal self what did that say about my spiritual self?
Learning to Apologize
We make the same mistakes over and over. Do we realize that by doing so, the person we are harming most is ourselves?
7 Inactions to Reconsider
Many of us review our year and consider what we have done that requires atonement. But perhaps we should also be reconsidering our inaction—our not doing something—and how we can remedy that.
Becoming a ‘Master of Return,’ Milk or No Milk
How can it possibly be called return if I’m trying to become the kind of person I never was, at least not in this lifetime?
Feeling G-d’s Love in the Garlic Garden
How can this be a time of looking honestly at our sins, a time of inner transformation, and also a time of being G-d’s beloved?
Related Topics