The 4 letters of “Ellul” make up the phrase “Ani L’Dodi V’e Dodi Li” translation: “I am for my beloved and my beloved is for me.”
This is a month of increasing our awareness and focus of the belief that Hashem created and is running this world. Avraham chose Him and Hashem chose us. He gave us, as a nation, the Torah at Har Sinai. To continue Avraham’s mission and Hashem’s will. We accepted. All religious and aware Jews around the world have been trying to continue this mission. Increasing Torah and Mitsovot.
This month is the month when the Jewish nation camped out near Har Sinai preparing each other to get the Torah while Moshe was on the mountain with Hashem. They sinned by making the Golden Calf- Chet Haegel. Hashem wanted to destroy us, especially after all the miracles he did for us coming out of Egypt and traveling through the desert. Moshe intervened on our behalf. After destroying the Golden Calf, Moshe went back up Har Sinai, spent another forty days (2) with HASHEM, and then He forgave the Jewish People. We were granted forgiveness because Moshe constructed a special prayer that “convinced” Hashem to forgive us, “Va’Yavor”, and Hashem told Moshe that Klal Yisroel should use that Teffila when doing teshuva. (Then HASHEM told Moshe to go back up a third time, now to reaccept the Torah and bring down a second set of luchos, which was brought down on Yom Kippur.)
This is a month of Selichot for Sphardim to get us to that perception of how far we are from Hashem’s will. It isn’t fear, but seriousness. We focus on the positive and kindness of Hashem to us, like a father to a son, and this inspires us to repent and return to Him.
Significance: New Year
Observances: Sounding the shofar (ram's horn trumpet)
Length: 2 Days (Some: 1 Day)
Customs: Dipping apples in honey; Casting off "sins" into a river
Greeting: L'shanah tovah! (For a good year!)
“In the seventh month, on the first of the month, there shall be a sabbath for you, a remembrance with shofar blasts, a holy convocation”. -Leviticus 16:24
In the Torah it’s called Yom Ha-Zikkaron &Yom Teruah), but we call it Rosh Hashana. Rosh Hashanah occurs on the first and second days of Tishri. In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, "head of the year" or Jewish New Year (we increase the year’s number). It’s a time to begin introspection, looking back at the mistakes of the past year and planning the changes to make in the New Year. Shofar is the official or main obligation of the 2 days. Jews around the world blow the shofar, ram’s horn, on both days with 100 sounds each day. The actual obligation is 30 sounds, but the Sages added 70 more. It’s been suggested that the shofar's sound is a call to repentance. Most of the day is spent in shul, praying from special liturgy from the Rosh Hashana Machzor. In the festive meals after davening is over, we eat apples (and bread) dipped in honey, a symbol of our wish for a sweet new year. Another popular custom on Rosh Hshana, although not Halacha, is Tashlikh ("casting off"). We walk to flowing water, where we “cast off our sins.” The reason for flowing water is that is where kings were inaugurated to express that we want His kingdom and ruler ship to flow forever like this river flows. This is to remind us of accepting Hashem’s power of the world and our covenant with him. This should inspire us with feelings of repentance. The water’s also represent the deep river that got in the way of Avraham going to sacrifice Yitzchak. Yet he went through the river, regardless, and hashem saved him since he was following Hashems command.
Tishri 3, the day after the second day of Rosh Hashanah, is the Fast of Gedaliah. Lasts from dawn (first light) to…