Imagine coming home from a long trip. You are hot, sweaty, tired, cranky, angry, aggravated and glad to be home. What do you do first.
Sigh in thanks, glad to be home followed by a quick unfulfilling “hi, I am home” to the family.
Then unpack: the dirty laundry, personal care items, checking for broken bottles, leaking toothpaste or hair products, cologne/perfume, clothes to be hung up and “finds” to be discarded or redirected to friends, family or the sacred bric-a-brac spaces in your home.
The grimy travelled worn clothes and discarded as the shower or bath calls seductively. Wash away the dust and grime of the road, luxuriating in the cleansing water. Then dress, clean and neat and comfy, or maybe overdressing to overcompensate.
Next comes the greetings, real this time, not perfunctory on the way to dump the baggage. And along with that flows the sharing of stories, silly or sad, somber or surreal, with loved ones.
Then a nice meal is shared, maybe a drink and a good sleep.
And you are ready to face a new dawn.
Welcome to the Elul experience, the High Holy Day happening, the new beginning that is Tishrei.
Elul began August 31 and runs until Erev Rosh HaShanah on September 28.Then we are cast or flow into the 10 awesome days ending with Yom Kippur Day of At-One-Ment.
We begin Elul returning home, hot, tired, weighed down by the baggage of anger, hurt, disappointment and sadness. It’s time to begin to unpack. We look at the baggage that has become an impediment (the Latin word for baggage is impedimenta) to a fulfilled life of love and hope.