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Preparing for the High Holy Days

The High Holy Days will be here soon! In fact, Elul, the Hebrew month that precedes Rosh Hashanah, begins next week. During Elul, Jews have traditionally set aside part of each day to study and prepare for the High Holy Days (HHD’s). This custom allowed Jewish people to encounter and grapple with the themes of the HHD’s well before they ever arrived for services.

In contemporary times, this traditional practice has been transformed by the internet and social media.

Included below are several websites that make studying and reflecting during Elul easy, engaging, and fun. These sites provide creative opportunities and educational resources that will help make our Elul experiences truly meaningful.

If you would like a creative dose of Elul wisdom delivered to your inbox, sign up for a daily email with thematically appropriate “stories, anecdotes, and introspections,” at Past “Jewels” have come from President Barack Obama, Desmond Tutu, the Dali Lama, Eli Wiesel, and Rabbi David Wolpe.

If you connect with Judaism and God through nature, this post from the Institute for Jewish Spirituality will provide you with inspiration for your observation of Elul.

If you’d like to brush up on your knowledge of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, visit for information about the holiday’s histories, customs, blessings, and more!

If your brain is organized according to hashtags, Rabbi Phyllis A. Sommer’s Elul program is the one for you. For the past several years, Rabbi Sommer has encouraged the world of social media to join her in exploring the themes of the HHD’s through blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, and more! She has provides a theme for each day of Elul and suggests that participants include #BlogElul and/or #ElulGram in their posts. TBC members who post, please include #TbcElul so that we can find your reflections!

The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are known as the Yamim Noraim or Days of Awe. These ten days are the holiest of the year and are the perfect opportunity to continue the reflection and engagement that we began in Elul.

If you are looking for an interesting and innovative way to mark these ten, holy days, visit

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