The Temple Institute: Temple Talk: Elul 2, 5765/September 6, 2005

Contemplating the month of Elul, an acronym for the Hebrew words from the Song of Songs - "I am to my beloved, and he is to me" - homiletically refering to the relationship between the people of Israel and the Holy One, blessed be He. What makes the month of Elul an especially propitious time for repentance for the Jewish nation and for all that seek out the G-d of Israel? Our sages have said of Elul, that - the King is in the field - meaning that G-d, whose sovereignty we recognize and accept anew on Rosh Hashana, steps forth from His palace and seeks out His people, urging us to repent, that is, to draw closer to G-d. It is no coincidence that the week's Torah reading, Shoftim, (Judges), (Deuteronomy 16:18), opens with the commandment to appoint judges and officers in our gates, and follows that up with the commandment to establish the high court of justice, the Sanhedrin, on the Temple Mount, within the Temple complex itself. Learn further the connection between the commandment to appoint judges, and the understanding of Elul as being a time for reflection and renewal.

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