Intro To Elul

Day 2: From Partners Cleveland

The Daily Blast

Rabbi Pinchas Landis
Executive Director
Partners Cleveland

Introduction by Rabbi Pinchas Landis from Partners Cleveland on the symbolism of blowing the shofar during Elul.

Daily Reading

Daily Sources

לְדָוִ֨ד  יְהֹוָ֤ה  אוֹרִ֣י וְ֭יִשְׁעִי מִמִּ֣י אִירָ֑א יְהֹוָ֥ה מָעוֹז־חַ֝יַּ֗י מִמִּ֥י אֶפְחָֽד
תהילים כ״ז:א

Of David. Hashem is my light and my help whom should I fear? Hashem is the stronghold of my life, whom should I dread?

-Psalms 27:1

And, because God is his light, he is able to find many openings from which to depart the darkness and exile in which he is enclosed. For the truth is that there are many openings there.

-Likutei Moharan 112:1:7

One who comes in order to become impure, i.e., to sin, they, in Heaven, provide him with an opening to do so, and he is not prevented from sinning. If one comes in order to become purified, not only is he allowed to do so, but they, in Heaven, assist him.

-Talmud Avodah Zarah 55a:10

Daily Goals

An effective way to embark on your own process of returning to your deepest essence and greatest potential.

During Elul and the High Holy Days, we are given the gift of teshuva, of return – to ourselves, to our loved ones and to God. There is no more auspicious time in the Jewish calendar than now to iron out the inevitable creases in our hearts and mend the rifts in our souls that rob us of exuding our natural spiritual beauty.

The following 16 prompts are an effective way to embark on your own process of returning to your deepest essence and greatest potential.

Connecting to your True Self
  1. What are some of your greatest gifts and resources that Hashem has given you?

  2. What do you want most for the coming year?

  3. What are you grateful for in your life right now/ this past year?

  4. What are some of the significant milestones, events, breakthroughs, accomplishments etc. from this previous year? (year in review)

  5. When in general did you feel most alive?

  6. What are some of the biggest struggles you’ve had this past year? (When you felt most alienated from your true self?)

  7. In what areas have you grown the most?

  8. What are some of your greatest insights that you now have that you didn’t have as strongly last year.

How do I implement this?
  1. What are some of your top areas of priority that require your attention?

  2. How could you utilize your God-given gifts better to bring greater light into the world?

  3. What behaviors are blocking you from being your best self? What can you do to reduce and eliminate these behaviors?

  4. If there was one trait that you would like to change to be a more balanced person, what would it be? Can you think of a way to bring yourself into better balance in this area?

  5. What recurring thoughts do you have that make you feel fearful, anxious, lonely, depressed or alone? What would be more spiritually productive thoughts to have in these moments?

  6. What is one area in your relationship with God that you would like to improve in? What is a practical step you can take work on this?

  7. List one area in your interpersonal relationships that you would like to improve in. How can you implement this change in one small way that you can do consistently?

  8. What is one area in your relationship with yourself that you would like to improve? How can you begin to work on this?

Today In Jewish History

2 Elul – Shulchan Aruch – 1555

On this day in 1555 R’ Yosef Cairo completed the Shulchan Aruch, the code of Jewish law.  Preceding this, there were three major codes of Jewish law: Maimonides code, R’ Yitzchok Alfasi’s code, and Rabeinu Asher’s code.  R’ Cairo sought to combine those works into one authoritative work.  His decisions went with the consensus from the three previous codes.  Until today, R’ Yosef Cairo’s Shulchan Aruch remains the foundation of codified Jewish law.  

The inspiration to write such a monumental work came from the events of the time.  After the expulsion of Spanish Jewry in 1492, many Jewish refugees came to the land of Israel.  The communities of Jerusalem and Tzfas started to flourish.  Many saw this as the beginning of the Jews returning from exile, and to a certain extent, they were right.  A great debate broke out as to whether or not it was proper to reinstitute the Sanhedrin, the high court of Jewish law.  In the end, the idea did not get enough traction to take off.  R’ Yosef Cairo decided that if we can’t have a living Sanhedrin, we at least need a written Sanhedrin.  Hence, his writing of the Shulchan Aruch.  The 4 volume work would be printed and disseminated across the Jewish world within 10 years.  

Daily Quotes

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

- Victor Frankl

“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.”

- Abraham Maslow

“Don’t wait for the right opportunity, create it. “

- George Bernard Shaw

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