Throughout history we as Jews have leaned on our traditions to lead us back to ourselves in times of trouble or uncertainty. The month of Elul is one of those traditions: a time of cheshbon hanefesh or an accounting of the soul.
Elul has come at a perfect time this year; many of us are carrying a heavy emotional load due to the current state of affairs. Elul encourages us to take time to look inward and prepare for what’s to come. In this spirit, we are offering a multi-modal Elul experience:
LEARN: “How Do We Emerge from A Long, Dark Time? Or, What the Book of Jonah Can Teach Us About This Moment,” Sunday August 15, 4-5:30 pm. ON ZOOM.
Many of us know how Jonah came to be swallowed by the whale, but what was it like inside the whale, and how was Jonah changed once he emerged from his period of isolation? Join Rabbi Ora for a close read of the book of Jonah, a snappy and surprisingly funny prophetic text that can help us navigate this latter stage of the pandemic with a little more ease, lightness, and hope. Zoom link will be emailed to members the week before the event. If you would like to attend and do not receive our mailers, email email@example.com
LISTEN: Songs of Return, A High Holiday Community Playlist
Our community playlist features gorgeous niggunim, new melodies, and High Holiday favorites to get us in the teshuvah mood. Listen and enjoy, and add your favorites tunes so we can all hear them. To listen, all you need is a free Spotify account. To add music, you’ll need to open the Spotify app on your phone, tablet, or desktop.
BREATHE: Elul Meditation Offerings
A series of pre-recorded meditations from Rabbi Ora and members are now available to stream, below. These themed meditations vary in length and style, and can be listened to on your schedule as many times as you like.
Blessing This Moment (16 min)
Sitting in Divine Light (10+ min)
Gam Zeh Kadosh/This, Too, Is Holy (9+ min)
WRITE: Daily Reflection Prompts
Sign up to receive daily reflection and journaling prompts for the entire month of Elul (August 8-September 6). Created by Rabbi Jordan Braunig, these prompts may serve as “a little more space than we are used to to dig in and do the work of cheshbon nefesh/soul-accounting.”
Elul Concert with Joey Weisenberg, Sunday August 8, 3-4 pm
AARC’s Elul programming begins with a musical-spiritual Zoom concert with Joey Weisenberg, prolific composer, author, and director of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute. Between participatory niggunim, Joey will dip into his book The Torah of Music, showing how singing is a spiritual practice accessible for all. Join the song circle to draw strength from our collective voice and lift you into the High Holiday season. This event is co-sponsored by the Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan and Beth Israel.
Selichot Services, Saturday August 28, 8-9 pm. IN PERSON AT THE JCC.
Our selichot services will ease us into the High Holy Days with beautiful melodies led by Rabbi Ora and members. We’ll lean into some soulful niggunim that will form the aural backdrop to our Rosh haShana and Yom Kippur services, then end Shabbat together with Havdallah. Sign up to attend HERE.
Gather: Annual Summertime Potluck Picnic, August 22nd, 11am-1pm.
If you have any questions about any of these Elul offerings, please email Gillian.