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September 1, 2014 / Rabbi Laura

The search within

I admit it, I troll job listings.  It somehow became a hobby of mine to read job posts – not only for my own potential emplyment and remuneration – but also for those in my circle of family, friends and colleagues who are in need of jobs.  Every couple days a posting comes in and I think, hmmm… who would this job be good for?

With more than enough people out of work right now, I know that the job search is not an easy one. More often than not, it requires the help of someone else.  Someone who knows someone who knows someone. Or, just someone, like me, who sees a job post and forwards it on with a note, “FYI, I thought you might check this one out.”

Elul asks us to do a different kind of search. A search within.  This kind of search though, must be done alone. Well, a rabbi or a therapist can help you. But a deeply personal search within oneself cannot come with an “FYI, I thought you might check this out.”

To do that real Elul work of searching within, reflecting on what you see, making assessments about what you like and don’t like – that is hard work.  Yet, there is a benefit at the end.  At the end of Elul, and through the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur process of prayer and repentance we can wipe away that which we didn’t like, we can embrace that which we did, and we can commit to change.  Such is the beauty of the Jewish process of t’shuvah, repentance.

So, on this 6th day of Elul, we still have time to undergo that process of searching within.  You never know what you will find.



The Jewish month of Elul, which precedes the High Holy Days, is traditionally a time of renewal and reflection. It offers a chance for spiritual preparation for the Days of Awe. It is traditional to begin one’s preparation for the High Holy Days during this month with the Selichot, the prayers of forgiveness. We look to begin the year with a clean slate, starting anew, refreshed. All month, along with others, I’ll be blogging a thought or two for each day to help with the month of preparation… #blogElul


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