R Margolis 1Although the month of Elul–the sixth month of the year, which  immediately precedes Rosh HaShana has no special importance  in the Bible or in early rabbinical writings various customs arose sometime during the first millennium that designated Elul as the time to prepare for the high holidays because these days are filled with so much meaning and potency, they require a special measure of readiness. We are called upon to enter them thoughtfully and to consider what they mean. As the Maharal of Prague said, “All the month of Elul, before eating and sleeping, a person should look into his soul and search his deeds, that he may make confession.”

Jewish tradition points to the name of the month as symbolically appropriate–the letters of Elul form an acronym for the words in the verse Ani le dodi ve dodi li–“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Songs of Songs 6:3) Believing that the “beloved” refers to God, the sages take this verse to describe the particularly loving and close relationship between God and Israel. Elul, then, is our time to establish this closeness so that we can approach the Yamim Noraim, or Days of Awe, in trusting acceptance of God’s judgment. We approach the trial not out of fear, but out of love. One of the important commandments is to visit the graves of our loved once, please join us this coming Sunday to clean the children’s section in West Park cemetery. Please let me know if you are planning to attend: rabbi.margolis@betdavid.org.za

Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Julia Margolis (Source: masorti.org)  


Clean-up of the Children’s Section at West Park Jewish Cemetery

Please join our Rabbis in an effort to clean up the area around the Children’s Section of West Park Cemetery on Sunday 23 August 2015 at 10.00.  Perform a mitzvah – meet at WPC with small gardening tools, rubbish bags etc. Please RSVP to rabbi.margolis@betdavid.org.