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August 23, 2012 / Rabbi Laura

“Where will my help come from?”

#BlogElul 5 – Trust

I just returned home from a morning yoga practice.  As is often part of the practice, the teacher invited us to set an intention for our practice.  My intention – today’s Elul theme: trust.  For 90 minutes, while flowing from pose to pose, inhaling and exhaling, I tried to focus my thoughts on the idea of trust: who do I trust? why is it sometimes hard to trust? what helps us build trust?

Trust is a scary thing. It requires us to open ourselves up; to be vulnerable.  It requires us to be open and accepting, aware and dependent on others. It requires us to let go.  That can be hard!

Just yesterday Max came home from his second day of high school describing how in his PE class they did team building games that concluded with trust falls. The 20-some freshmen in the class, who have only known each other for a couple of days, had to catch each other as they attempted trust falls at increasing degrees of difficulty. At the final stage the “faller” had to stand on a 4 ft high ledge and fall back into the waiting arms of his/her teacher and classmates.  At his age, I would have freaked out, but Max loved it.  He was able to let go and fall into their arms. I am sure that today in PE the dynamic between the teens will be very different – in a good way. That teacher is helping them build a sense of connection & bonding, group dependence and trust that will, God willing, carry them through their high school years and beyond.

Elul is a scary time too.  We look toward the self-reflective rituals and liturgy of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  Our machzor (High Holy Day prayer-book) holds a mirror up to our souls.  We look back on the year that has past. We look forward to the year that lays ahead.  We sometimes confront pain, loss, hurt. We sometimes relive moments of joy, love, laughter. We may have dashed hopes, or renewed hopes.  All of this swirls around in our heads and hearts for the month of Elul and the 10 days of the Yamim Noraim (Holy Days).

It is trust (and faith…that’s for Day #6) that helps get us through.

Trust in our family, friends and community: we will support each other through the difficult and painful moments of our season. We will forgive. We will be forgiven. We will lift each other up.

Trust in ourselves: We are good. We are human (read, not perfect and not expected to be). We can grow and learn.

Trust in God. The Psalmist says it best (Psalm 90):

I lift my eyes to the mountains;

What is the source of my help?  

My help comes from Adonai,

Maker of heaven and earth.


This morning, on my mat, I asked myself, “who do I trust?”  These were my answers. What’s yours?


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