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Isn't it pretty?

Friday, August 20, 2004

Wake Up!

This past week marked the beginning of Elul, the month preceding Rosh Hashanah. This month is typically known as a month of preparation, and emphasis is placed on the three T's - Teshuva (repentance), Tzedakah (charity), and Tefillah (prayer). Something I feel I miss out on during Elul is hearing the shofar being blown every day during shul. (There is no reason that I can't go to shul, but the excuse of not being obligated just always wins out when I am rushing around in the morning getting ready for work.)

The shofar serves as such an incredible wake up call to us to focus on preparing for a New Year and our judgment. When I do hear the shofar, there is something about it's music that hits me deeply inside. I wouldn't call it melodic, it is not the most beautiful of sounds, but it pierces through me and feels like a call from Hashem for me to focus on what is important and to strive for personal growth. As we go through Elul, I think we should constantly try to focus on that wake up call that the shofar gives us. Through Tefillah, we connect with Hashem to plead for His mercy and compassion in the next year. Through Tzedakah, we try to emulate Hashem's incredible compassion by being compassionate to others. And through Teshuvah, we try to wipe our slate clean so that we can enter the New Year with a pure soul, strengthened and prepared for whatever challenges and rewards Hashem will send us.

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