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Elul Reflection: 2 Elul 5778

2 Elul 2778
13 August 2018

Over the last few weeks, I’ve added the practice of tefillin to my daily prayers.  The act of gently tying the tefillin on my arm, saying a blessing, and then continuing with the head, each act followed by a prayer.  I’ve been doing this sitting under an olive tree, and taking time before the day gets going.  There is something sweet and soft and beautiful in this ritual that is uncommon in Progressive Judaism.  Certainly as Progressive Jews have adopted more ritual, this is one ritual that is still for the most part a mystery.  Putting on the tefillin and tallit brings to the forefront the essence of mindfulness which as we are in the month of Elul heightens our awareness that Rosh Hashanah Yom Kippur are near.  Theses days are the ultimate in Jewish mindfulness and meditation, forcing us to look into our inner selves and to evaluate what is truly important setting us up for the new year ahead.

--Rabbi Kim Ettlinger

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