From Reb Sally Shore Wittenberg
Dear Kerhonkson Synagogue Friends,
On Friday night we saw the tiny crescent of the new moon and celebrated the Jewish new month
of Elul. And that means we are only 4 weeks from Rosh Hashanah!
Our Sages taught that the 1 Elul begins the time to start preparing for the new year. One of the
ways we prepare is to hear the sound of the shofar each day.
Why? Because the shofar reminds us to wake up! The shofar blasts are three distinct sounds:
Tekiah – one long, straight blast, Shevarim – three medium notes, likened to a wailing sound,
and Teruah – 9 quick blasts in short succession.
How can we hear the blasts in a new way, a way that will guide preparations to end the year 5779 and enter the new year 5780?
Tekiah: “Notice me!” This long blast catches the attention of even the sleepiest of us, trying to alert us to wake up from that which is habitual, all that we do as if in our sleep.
Shevarim: Startled awake we look around and notice, perhaps in dismay, “Oy, Oy, Oy!”, that we might have veered from the road we had set out on last year on Rosh Hashanah.
Teruah: 9 Staccato blasts light a fire under our feet, ”where have I been and where shall I go?” .
The shofar blast of Elul resonates past all defenses and excuses to the very truth of this moment, if you will allow it. I invite you to listen to the shofar each morning of Elul, and let the blasts guide you in reflection and renewed intention.
Our next service is Shabbat, September 7 at 10 AM. We will be together in contemplative prayer, song and Torah discussion about this precious time of the year, and how we might practice in preparation for Rosh Hashanah.
With blessings of light and ease,
Pirkei Avot: A Modern Commentary by Leonard Kravitz and Kerry Olitsky (Liberal commentary with essays and gleanings from the text)
Sage Advise: Pirkei Avot by Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg (Open/Modern Orthodox scholar of the 20-21C)
Pirkei Avot: Lev Shalem by Rabbiâ€™s Gordon Tucker and Tamar Elad-Appelbaum (Conservative/Mesorti Rabbis bring a scholarly, historic and mystical commentary)