Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Days of Awe

We are coming upon a somber and serious time, really a a month of introspection and repentance. Tonight (Wed) is Rosh Chodesh Elul. Don't let the weird words throw you. That just means the new moon, Rosh Chodesh, which is what the Hebrew calendar is based on and the name of the new month, Elul.

From tonight, through Rosh Hashana, until the culmination of Yom Kipper, we are all to look at our lives, reflect and seriously take stock of ourselves.

Sound like a weird, Jewish Lent. Funny thing here. These 40 days are God-ordained. Those 40 days are pseudo-Holy Days, man made. Strange, isn't it? There are always imitations of the real thing.


Randy Mitchell said...

Here's where the 40 days comes from: Moses was on Sinai 40 days to receive the 1st set of commandments, then the golden calf incident, then Moses returns for a 2nd 40 days to plead for Israel. He returns to camp, makes another set of tablets and ascends Sinai a third time when God hides him in the cleft of the rock and he sees God. This third & last 40 days corresponds to the 40 days between Elul 1 and Tishrei 10, Tishrei 10 being the Day of Atonement. In order to awaken us to this time we blow the shofar every morning except on Shabbat. We say special prayers including Psalm 27. Finally, "Elul" is an acronym in Hebrew for "I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine" (S of S 6:3) which reflects the intimacy we desire as we awaken our souls to meet our "first love".

JenT said...

I was only aware of two times that Moses was on Mt. Sinai for 40 days and nights. Does it actually say that when he went to plead with God for Israel that he was there for 40 days? It makes a point of stating it the other two times. I just wondered.

Randy Mitchell said...

The three 40 day periods are not so obviosu unless you look at the calendar. I t was 120 days from the giving of the Torah until Yom Kippur. The three trips are mentioned here:
1) Ex. 19:3 Moses went up on
Sivan 2
19:14 Moses went down
2) Ex 19:20 Moses goes up
19:25 Moses went down
3) 24:13-15 Moses went up
24:18 40 days/40 nights stated
32:15 Moses went down

Gail Heaton said...

I was impressed in my Spirit last night (Wednesday nigh)to get our fellowship together for the sighting of the up-coming 6th new moon (might be seen either Friday or Saturday night). Though we go by the physical sighting instead of the calculated calendar, I find it interesting that it was las night that this 'came to me'. I had not considerd the significance of this particular Moon. Now it all makes sense! thanks!