Posted by: jdiscover | August 13, 2010



In this week’s Haftarah (Prophetic Reading), the fourth Haftarah of Consolation, Isaiah speaks to the people of Judea languishing in exile in Babylon following the destruction of the Temple in 586 BCE. The despairing people (represented by Jerusalem) are urged by Isaiah to lift themselves up. “Hitorreri, Hitorreri! – Awake, awake yourself!”

In Isaiah’s rousing admonition there is a phrase that is perfect for this month of Elul. The month of Elul is a time of preparation for the coming High Holy Days. Each morning (except for Shabbat) during this month, the shofar, our spiritual alarm clock, is blown calling out like Isaiah; “Awake, awake!” We are, this month, to awaken to our potential, examine our deeds and commit to bettering ourselves, our relationships and our actions. Isaiah asks the people of his day and us; “Have you forgotten Adonai, who is still making you? (Isaiah 51:13)” What a beautifully important question! It is an Elul question! When we awaken to this truth – that God is still making us – we realize our potential for improvement and growth.

It is easy to think that we are all grown-up, that we are finished products, but the power of this season comes in reminding us that we have the ability to do better and be better. We can each lead more meaningful, more giving and more impactful lives. God is still making each of us; let us wake up and with God’s help remake ourselves. May this be a season of growth for each of us.

Shabbat Shalom, Rabbi David Rose



  1. Shalom again, David- I’m catching up on your blogs I’ve missed, and I liked your notation of Isaiah’s words, which reminds me of Lecha Dodi. Now I’ll be reminded of Isaiah when we sing on Friday night. You did put into good words about how I feel about the High Holy Days.
    Wishing you and your family a fruitful and fulfilling season,

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