Writing and Reflection Prompts for Elul

woman writing in journal

Writing can be a profound spiritual practice. In the days of Elul, leading up to the High Holy Days, use these questions each day as a way to practice the soul accounting essential to teshuvah.


1. What do you hope for in the New Year?
2. What is forgiveness and how do we forgive?
3. What makes a good apology?
4. What do you regret?
5. What does teshuvah mean to you?
6. What would it look like for the United States of America to do teshuvah for slavery? For the crimes against indigenous peoples?
7. What would it look like for humanity to do teshuvah for our abuse of the earth?
8. Have you ever changed for the better? If so, how?
9. What are your bad habits?
10.  What’s one good habit you aspire to embrace? When will you start?
11.  Imagine High Holy Days three years into the future… 20 years…
12.  Pick your favorite prayer, story or practice of the season and drash (interpret) it.
13.  What have you learned since last Rosh Hashanah? About yourself? About the world around you?
14.  What sustains you in times of challenge?
15.  What does it mean to be good?
16.  Which virtue do you value most and why?
17.  Who inspires you and why?
18.  What is one thing you are ashamed of? One thing you are proud of?
19.  If your soul could speak, what would she say?
20.  What can you do if your loved ones make a mistake?
21.  Who do you yearn to be?
22.  What do you need to release or embrace in order to shine more brightly?
23.  Who are you remembering this year?
24.  What are your sins?
25.  Write your own eulogy.
26.  How are you being called to take responsibility?
27.  Where do you need to heal?
28.  What are you turning away from and what are you turning toward?

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