created at: 2012-09-20As we move through the Hebrew month of Elul, Jewish tradition has incorporated the sounding of the shofar each day leading up to the High Holy Days except for Shabbat. The sounding of the shofar is a call to wake us up. As we approach Domestic Violence Awareness Month, this meaningful ritual is a reminder to wake us to the needs of many Jewish survivors of domestic abuse. During this time of year, we also have another beautiful ritual: reciting Psalm 27 every day.

This powerful psalm – which speaks of seeking G-d’s protection in the face of evil and destruction – can be incredibly meaningful to people who are in need of help and support. For survivors of dating or domestic abuse, the approaching army and impending danger in the psalm may represent the person who has promised to love and cherish them. However, this may be the person intent on destroying their physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual well-being. Often isolated, frightened, and desperately alone, many turn to G-d in prayer.

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