Rosh Chodesh Elul 5777 for 5778

Please visit  on this site to download a cheshbon hanesh sheet.  The columns are derived from a class given  as a way of seeing our patterns.  The introduction is filled with Torah to encourage us to really feel what is going on deeply inside of us without judging ourselves. The goal of the investigation is so we can be strong where we need to in releasing our souls from the confines of natural constricted consciousness.


Ultimately, the truth is that Hashem is all that exists and we are a part of Him in that context.  Yet we don’t feel that naturally. Hashem desires a being to choose to see ourselves that way.  When we add the ingredient of loving Hashem for the purpose of declaring Him King and seeing that as emulating His Compassion by making it possible for this world to be a world that can reveal Him, we are doing the work of fixing the original sin that caused the material world to not be able to have that constant awareness of His Oneness.


That is a mouthful and if it is too high to understand, we start with seeing where we are seeking happiness and where we believe our survival is coming from that, in the end, we can also see are false and confusing messages.  Nevertheless, we have coping mechanisms, belief systems, habits and more in place and often are too afraid to challenge these…either because we don’t have time, we are afraid of what we will find (we might have many negative messages about ourselves from childhood and failures), or we don’t really believe that this investigation is worth the struggle.


Elul is a time of investigating ourselves, to find where we are in need of making improvements.  The more we can identify as distant from Hashem and the more we are excited to bring those aspects of our character into alignment with Torah and Hashem’s attributes of mercy, the better our year will be.  Right now is the time when receiving insights along these lines is a little easier because “the King is in the field”, perhaps not as concealed from those seeking to investigate.  He makes it a little easier by being a drop closer to face our challenging characteristics and habits.  And, on Rosh Hashana, the day of Judgment, when He judges us, don’t we want Him to see that we are already aware of our challenges and that we have a plan to work on it?  What if we are not?  What is good for us is to work on it and if we are not conscious of what we need to work on, our year could include something to wake us up.  So it is far better to wake ourselves up.  It is safe because we are part of Hashem and He totally loves us and Is waiting for us to discover how we can bring ourselves closer in consciousness with Him.


Imagine all the things we feel that threaten us – money issues, relationship issues, health issues – Who is the Source of the circumstance?  Who is the One who holds the solutions?  What came to mind?  How much do we really trust that it is all Hashem Who Loves us?

This world is a world of Elokim, a fallen world where the material cannot cling to Hashem as it once did before Adom sinned. Constriction is imperative.  How do we reconstitute the consciousness?  Ahavas Hashem.  When we arouse love for Hashem in our hearts, that effort is infused into the presenting challenge.  Literally it peels away the constricting cover that is trying to grip for its own materialistic purpose something of Hashem.  With the arousal from below of loving Hashem, knowing that we are purposefully doing so to traverse the stormy bumps of constricted consciousness appearing even though everything at all times is love from Hashem and good, we weather and redirect the power of the constriction back to Hashem and we calm down.  While in the powerful storm, we identify all the beliefs that are false in our thinking and submit them to Hashem all the while loving Hashem for our life in this world and the world to come, asking for His help in unifying everything back to the truth of His Oneness and love.

May these words empower the reader to embark on the cheshbon hanefesh needed to create a great new year for each of us and for the Jewish people, and may our effort to do so be enough to make it possible for this world to become a world where Hashem’s glory can be revealed.

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