Elul Unbound: Other Resources


These books could be effectively utilized by individuals, or by book clubs, to explore themes of the month of Elul.

This is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared by Alan Lew:

A classic. Rabbi Lew, a fabulous writer and thinker, focuses on the meaning of this time and the deep spiritual renewal possible not just on the High Holy Days but on the whole cycle of Jewish holidays from Tisha B’Av, through the month of Elul, through Sukkot. Days and beyond. Of special note are Ch 1 (overview), Ch 4 (Elul), Ch 5 (Selichot).

 After Abel and Other Stories by Michal Lemberger:

Rewrites of biblical stories give voice from the perspective of Eve, Lot's Wife, Miriam, Hagar, and other noted biblical women.

Testament Vol 1: Akedah by Daniel Rushkoff:

This graphic novel weaves between the biblical stories of the binding of Isaac and Sodom & Gomorrah, a dystopian high tech future and a little Greek Mythology.

Psalm 27:

By clicking the links below, you will find a variety of translators' interpretations of Psalm 27, which is traditionally associated with the month of Elul.

- Norman Fischer
- Nan C. Merrill
- Debbie Perlman (Psalm 27 can be found on page 10 of this link)
Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
- Jewish Publication Society, 1917 (for a more traditional translation)

The Song of Songs: 

Image Credit: Aharon April

Image Credit: Aharon April

The word "Elul" is spelled Aleph-Lamed-Vav-Lamed in Hebrew.  This has been connected to the phrase “Ani L'dodi V'dodi Li" -- as the first letter of each of those words corresponds to the four letters that make up "Elul."  The phrase means "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine," and comes from the Biblical book called The Song of Songs. You can find the full text of The Song of Songs, in Hebrew and English, at this link. For a summary of its contents, and a bit of history regarding the book's canonization and interpretations, click here.

Stay tuned for a bonus podcast, all about the role that Song of Songs could play in observing Elul today!

Other Daily Emails:

Jewels of Elul: Courtesy of The Pico Union Project, you’ll receive a different Jewish author, thinker or artist’s writing each day in your inbox.

A Time for Change :  Mussar in Elul: Mussar is a Jewish ethical movement, founded in Lithuania in the 1800s. This daily email will provide traditional Mussar teachings each day, as well as a weekly video.

60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays: From Rabbi Simon Jacobson, this daily email will include excerpts from his book, entitled 60 Days: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays, from the 1st day of Elul through Yom Kippur.