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Elul Reflections: 6 Elul 5780

Practice for the Practice

Psalm 27:13—Turn the Letters Around / Lulei לוּלֵא
It’s a puzzle on the page each morning.
Dots dance around the Hebrew letters,
their energy attracts my attention.

Lamed-vav-lamed-alef.
Lulei, “Had I not . . .”
The Hebrew letters spell out the internal,
spiritual, and emotional work I have to do. 

Reluctant. Resistant.
Not yet remorseful.
I rearrange the Hebrew letters.
Alef-lamed-vav-lamed.
Elul, this month when my life is full of doubt, questions, regret. 

Twenty-nine days
to work the puzzle,
to turn the letters around, read them in a mirror.

A whole month to look at myself, to turn myself around,
to put my relationships, choices, actions in a different order,
to see myself in the mirror.
... The puzzle is visible on the page,
the dots draw it back to my attention.
Lulei.
If I don’t solve it,
darkness will conceal the possibility and promise of this New Year.
Elul.
When I turn the letters around,
I will see goodness, blessing, broken pieces become One. 

-- Rabbi Debra J. Robbins, Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27: A Spiritual Practice for the Jewish New Year (CCAR Press, 2019), pp. 8–9

What do the letters of Elul mean to you? What are the interconnected puzzle pieces in your life? 

(from "Readings for the Month of Elul," kindly reprinted with permission from the Central Conference of American Rabbis)

Click on the sound file below to listen to Rabbi Gersh Lazarow sounding the shofar:

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