It’s Elul. It’s leading up to the High Holy Days. This song by the Maccabeats really speaks to me (thanks to Rabbi Adar at Coffee Shop Rabbi for posting it!) because it isn’t just about, or even mainly about, beating ourselves up for what we’ve done wrong. It’s also about mindfulness – about being aware and paying attention. It’s about noticing the person struggling with the stroller and the toddler as they try to descend the steep steps. It’s about giving joyfully to the street musician as he’s busking. It’s about participating in Jewish life – and in life more generally – wholeheartedly, unreservedly, noticing our fellow human beings and reaching out a hand to help.
May we all have a mindful, solemn, and yes, joyful Elul as we approach the New Year and the Days of Awe.
Feeling downbeat after a week of soul-searching? Feeling discouraged, knowing that there are three more weeks to Rosh HaShanah? Here’s a video that both celebrates the joy of the coming new year and speaks to the task of making ourselves new in time for it:
It’s a classic from the Maccabeats. Enjoy!