This week marked the beginning of the Jewish month of Elul. Elul precedes the month of Tishrei, during which we will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, The Fast of Gedaliah, Yom Kippur, Succos, and Simchas Torah. Elul itself is relatively quiet… so why does Jewish tradition make such a big deal of it?
There is a verse in Song of Songs (6:3) that says, “Ani Ledodi V‘Dodi Li – I am to my Beloved (G-d), and my Beloved is to me.” It speaks about the intimate relationship that should exist between man and His Creator. The Hebrew acronym for this verse is E-L-U-L. The month leading up to the High Holidays is the most appropriate time to develop an intimate relationship with G-d.
Also this week, I must offer a note of congratulations and thanks to someone who has helped thousands of kindle their relationship with G-d through thirteen years of writing a Dvar Torah, at least eleven of which we have been privileged to publish here at Torah.org. That congratulations has a bittersweet tinge, as Rabbi Pinchas Winston, writer of the well-known and well-received class, Perceptions on the Parsha, will now focus his efforts on teaching and authoring books for publication. We sincerely appreciate all that he has done, wish him tremendous success in his future endeavors, and hope that his thousands of subscribers will peruse the archives and subscribe to other classes in an attempt to fill the void. With all due deference to his humble statements to the contrary, we know that his unique style and contribution cannot be so easily replaced.
With a look to the future, I would also like to thank Rabbi Yosef Viener and Rabbi Lawrence Kelemen for joining us at Torahmedia.com! Both are celebrated speakers, and will add new and enlightening “perspectives” of their own for all of our listeners.
It is one of the great pleasures of Torah.org that we are able to work with so many outstanding Rabbis and educators, offering each the opportunity to reach thousands if not tens of thousands of individuals whom, in Rabbi Winston’s words, otherwise “would not have known I even exist.” Rabbi Keleman and Rabbi Viener are already very well-known — if you do not know of their work already, we certainly hope you will visit TorahMedia.com to find out more about what you’ve been missing!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken
Director, Project Genesis / Torah.org