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Lead up to the High Holidays:
The Month of Elul

The Jewish month of Elul is the month that immediately preceeds the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. A time for reflection and repentance, Elul means "search" in the ancient language of Aramic -- which is appropriate given that this is a time for searching one's heart. Elul is also the last (12th) month of the Jewish calendar, immediately followed by Tishrei, the month in which the High Holidays (also known as the Days of Awe) fall.


During the latter half of the month of Elul, special services are held each morning called Selichot, or repentance. The Selichot liturgy delineates a multitude of possible sins, both against G-d and against man, and asks congregants to account for their own mistakes throughout the year.


Throughout the month of Elul, Jews traditionally begin the process of asking for forgiveness from those they have wronged. According to tradition, G-d cannot forgive people for their sins against man until they have asked for -- and been granted -- forgiveness from the ones they have harmed.


At the conclusion of each morning's Selichot prayer service, the shofar is blown. The shofar is a rudimentary, trumpet-like instrument made from a hollowed out ram's horn. Blown on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur as well shofar has an unmistakable, piercing sound, which is intended to rouse listeners from their complacency.






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Related Articles:
The Final Days of Sukkot: Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah
The Yahrzeit Candle / Yizkor Service
High Holy Days Recipes
The Shofar (II)
The Jewish High Holy Days


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Comments
Comment
GJ from Kentucky, US
08:14 08/19/2011
 
As I am looking at your website and trying to understand the dated of when you do what and why, I note that exact dates are not mentioned in the articles. This would be helpful as a newcomer.
Comment
sandra from New Mexico, US
16:49 10/04/2010
 
If my grandfather on my mothers side was Jewish, where does that place me in heredity,non Jewish or not ?
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Linda from New Jersey, US
07:15 09/28/2009
 
Hello Russ, In the first paragraph of thr article on this page, you state that Elul is the last (12th) month of the Jewish calendar. However, Leviticus 25 refers to the 7th month (10th day). I thought Tishrei was the 7th month and Elul the 6th month on the Jewish (vs. civil calendars) and now I'm confused. Will you explain? Thanks... Linda
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JAN TO RUSS ROBERT
14:52 09/16/2008
 
ALL ABOUT ROSH HASHANA YOM KIPPUR - THE HIGH HOLY DAYS


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