Friday, September 7, 2012

Coming into the Presence of the Beloved—Elul 20

S.Y. Agnon, in his wonderful book Days of Awe, writes:
Everyone must prepare himself thirty days beforehand with Teshuvah and prayer and charity for the day when he will appear in judgment before God, on Rosh ha-Shanah. Then let him give all his heart to the service of God. And those who interpret the Torah metaphorically say, “The initials of the words, A niL e-dodi V e-dodi L i (‘I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine’—Cant. 6:13), when read consecutively read Elul. If Israel will long to turn in a complete Teshuvah to their Father who is in heaven, then his longing will go out to them, and he will accept them in Teshuvah.” [Mateh Moshe]
And so we move, so fluently, so gracefully, from imagining ourselves in this month of Elul, passing in review before a judge, to standing in the presence of “our Father in heaven,” to reaching out, full hearted, in longing to our Beloved, who in turn reaches out in longing for us. Coming into the presence in an embrace of love.

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