The month of Elul began last week, and while I fully intended to write a post on Rosh Chodesh (which was Wednesday, a normal Melissa posting day) I am glad I got too busy to make that happen, so that I can do it now instead.
Elul is the month which leads us up to the Yamim Noraim, more commonly known as the High Holidays. Throughout Elul we reflect upon our past year and the lessons learned as we prepare for the auspicious days ahead. Rosh Hashana provides us a new start, the ten days of repentance a time to discuss our wrongs with other people, and on Yom Kippur we make one final plea to Hashem to forgive all our wrong doings and to be sealed for another year of life.
The past year has been quite tumultuous for D and me. We have faced the gammat of issues from my unemployment and poor health, to the stresses of school and pre-rabbinical preparations for D, to the ultimate test – families. We have both had a variety of physical and emotional problems amongst our closest family members. Top it off with it being our first year of marriage and all the adjustments inherent in that and well, lets just say we are glad to see it go.
There have been some amazing highs of course, including the starting of this blog. Not only has it given me a fun creative outlet, it has allowed me to challenge my thoughts and ideas in a constructive manner. It has allowed me to make some great new friends and find new Rabbis to whom I can relate and ask questions just for the sake of curiosity. It has also given me a new level of passion for Jewish education and women’s issues and I hope that going forward I am able to find new ways of sharing that passion.
Given this, I do not find it ironic that I resigned myself to my destiny of being a Jewish professional as the month drew near, and that I spent the days around the new moon interviewing for a position, which I will begin this Monday. I hope this new position lights my way to a meaningful career and continued reflection and drive not only in the month of Elul, but in the months and years to come.
I encourage you to take a moment to reflect upon your year. Its strengths and weaknesses. The good and bad which has come of it. Perhaps most importantly though, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the lessons which you learned and how you can apply that in the year to come. When the shofar sounds this Rosh Hashana, let it not be a wake-up call, but rather a call to action.