Elul. It is here. Now. Tonight. Tomorrow, the sound of the shofar will be heard for the first time since the end of Yom Kippur last year. We are once again on the countdown to the holiest day of the Jewish year, when we bare our souls before the Holy One of Blessing and ask for forgiveness as we try once again to begin anew.

Where are you tonight? Where am I? Where are we physically? Where are we spiritually? Where do we hope to go, in body and in spirit? What is our connection to the solid Earth beneath our feet? What is our connection to the Sun and the Moon and the stars? What is our connection to each other? What is our connection to the Infinite Source?

We may not know the answers right now. We may not know them tomorrow. But we can search. As you travel through the days of Elul, this very special month, this time of reflection and preparation for the New Year, this time of more focused searching, Ma’yan Tikvah – A Wellspring of Hope is here to travel with you. During the coming 29 days we will post an Earth Etude for Elul each regular day at www.mayantikvah.blogspot.com. Each of these short pieces has been written by a member or friend of Ma’yan Tikvah. Each deals with the issue of teshuvah – return to G!d – in a way that is personal, but also connected in some way to the Earth. Each represents the voice of a separate searching individual. They are written out of love for all of our beloveds, including our beloved Earth.

Rosh HaShanah is one month away. May these Earth Etudes for Elul give you strength, insight, guidance, inspiration, and a recognition that you are not alone on your journey toward spiritual and physical wholeness and connection to your loved ones, to the Universe, and to G!d.

Kol tuv v’n’sia tovah – wishing you all the best on your journey,

Rabbi Katy Allen