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Jewels of Elul 2015

“Elul calls us to be deep sea divers into our souls.” Jewels of Elul is a project created by Craig Taubman that offers 29 inspirational insights for the month of Elul. The following blog post by Rabbi David Wolpe, first published at the Jewels of Elul website, introduces the Jewels of 2015 on their 10-year anniversary. Mazel Tov!

 
We think of self-examination during the month of Elul as a path to repentance. But it is more fundamental than a step toward something else: We examine ourselves to know who we are. Our darkness and our sins are part of us, stiched into our soul. Without coming to grips with what you have done wrong, you can never understand your own soul.

Our character is reflected in our actions and our relationships. But neither is the whole story. Some revelations call for introspection. Who am I? Have I become the person I was meant to be or am I betraying or trivializing my destiny?

Look at a picture of your childhood self. Would that child be proud of the adult you have become? No one else on earth can answer that for you. Elul calls us to be deep sea divers into our souls. The stories in this book will serve as a spur to self-reflection. This is a time of year for repentance—acknowledgment, reparations, healing. 

Equally it is a time for discovery. Only by apprehending who we are can we shape real hopes about who we might become. Forge ahead without fear into the mystery of your own soul and emerge wiser this year, and kinder.


David Wolpe is the Senior Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California. www.facebook.com/RabbiWolpe

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