Posted on Aug 20, 2020 | 2 comments

1st Day of Rosh Chodesh Elul

Today is the first day (of two days) of Rosh Chodesh Elul, (which actually falls on the last day of the month of Av).

Prayer for the day:

Our Father Yahweh, our Righteous Judge, We humbly enter your courts and we bow before your majesty. We have fallen short and have disobeyed You in all You have commanded us to do. By disobeying and ignoring your Torah commandments, we have chosen the curses of sin to enter our life. Please forgive us and those in our family, as we renounce these evil influences associated with this sin.

Message for the day:

By telling Abraham, “Leave your land, your birthplace, the home of your parents, and go to a the land that I will show you,” God instructed us, his descendants, that there are three forms of subjectivity we need to leave behind when we set out on the journey of self-discover:

devout_jewish_prayer‘Your land’ represents the first level of subjectivity – the influence of society, community and peer pressure, which affect us in deep and profound ways. We all want to be liked and accepted by others and we adjust our behavior accordingly.

The ‘home of your parents’ represents the second level of subjectivity – parental influence, which can be so subtle that we don’t eve recognize it. Often, we don’t realize how deeply the attitudes of our parents permeate our own attitudes and behavior, for good and for bad.

Your birthplace’ represents the third level of subjectivity – inherent self – love. Each person is blinded by his or her selfish interests, no one is immune from that.

This does not mean that we must completely discard all good things that we have learned from our parents or our community, but it means that, first of all, we must become aware of how these influences affect our behavior, our opinions and our thought patterns. Only then can we begin to know who it is that we are and what it is that we think, know and believe.

Similarly, personal bias or self love – which isn’t a crime in itself – becomes a crime when we don’t acknowledge it, and when ti begins to distort our vision.

Ask yourself: Are you able to identify where you blindly follow convention (or politically correct opinions) and where your path is truly your own, arrived at by you through careful consideration?

Exercise for the day:

Select one significant event of the past day and identify how your reactions and behaviors were shaped by each of the three levels of subjectivity named above. Describe what role the damaging pattern you identified yesterday played in these reactions and behaviors.

 

 

The message for the day was taken from the book “60 Days – A Spiritual Guide to the High Holy Days” – the book is amazing! You can order it HERE.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. 8-26-2017

    Just sign up for our newsletter Jamie – I send out a Newsletter once a week on Sabbath

  2. 9-18-2017

    Hi Kathie – thank you for your support – you can sign up on the right hand side where it says ‘Newsletter’ – hope that helps

Leave a Comment