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Chodesh Elul:
The Golden Opportunity and its Demands

This week’s introduction and Lesson 1: August 27 / Elul 5

Welcome to week 1 of the Elul Program 5777. The theme for this week is “Chodesh Elul: The Golden Opportunity and its Demands.”

Please click the image below to access a short video by Alan Morinis that will introduce this week’s theme.

Lesson 1

Rambam [Maimonides] writes in his Laws of Teshuva (3:4):

Even though the sounding of the shofar on Rosh HaShanah is a Biblical decree1, nevertheless, it contains an allusion for us. It is as if [the sound of the shofar] is saying:
Wake up you sleepy ones from your sleep, those who slumber arise from your deep sleep, inspect your deeds, repent, and remember your Creator.
Those who forget the truth in the vanities of time and foolishly devote their entire year to vanities and meaningless endeavors, which do not benefit or save [the soul] – look into your souls and improve your ways and your deeds, and let each of you abandon your evil ways and negative thoughts.
1 In other words, the ultimate depth contained in this mitzvah transcends human understanding.

What do you hear when you hear the sounding of the Shofar?
Journal your response

Your practice for this week is to establish a consistent Journaling practice.

When this fundamental Mussar exercise is understood and implemented, it provides an essential tool for you to gain access to your inner life. Self-knowledge and heightened awareness of one’s inner life is the starting point for a meaningful Elul and is a life changing experience for everyone who commits to this daily exercise. Click this link to access your practice instructions for this week. Click here to access an archive of our Elul material.

If you would like to sponsor a day or week in Elul in memory or honor of somebody, please contact Steven Kraus steven@mussarinstitute.org

Today’s learning is sponsored by Nina Piken, in memory of her parents, Edward and Ruth Piken. Edward was an example of someone who took responsibility seriously in his life, demonstrating achrayut. Ruth was always learning and creating. Her passions were gardening, painting, sculpting and creating beauty. She demonstrated creativity - yetziratiyut.

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