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August 30, 2015 | 15th Elul 5775
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High Holy Day Elul Preparations

  1. The month of Elul has begun and we are all preparing for the High Holy Days and the New Year. Last night we celebrated Elul in our Rosh Chodesh Women's group (a little late!) So I feel like I've begun to warm-up to year-end taking stock, etc. What activities do you do to "get into the holiday spirit?" For what ages?

    We always do anywhere from one to several S?lichot services over the weeks immediately preceding Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. This year we are considering shofar blowing lessons for beginners and a session of learning old and new High Holiday melodies. Our children make New Year greetings and decorate their club houses/daycare.

    What pre-holiday activities do you do? How is Elul different in tone to prepare us for Tishrei? How do we educate ourselves and our children on this? Eliza

  2. Rabbi Alan Lew has just published a new book. The title is This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared. It is a wonderful book for those who are interested in the process of preparation for the Holy Days. He begins with Tishah B'Av, and continues all the way to Sukkot.

    If you have read Agnon's Days of Awe, and are involved in Elul preparations, this may be the next book you pick up. I found it both engaging (he tells wonderful personal stories), and powerful as a mind-setter for the next few weeks.



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