Elul—The Dream of Life
The year 5778 is already coming to a close and we are beginning to feel the transition into the new year. The notion of transition is a very important concept in our lives. Transition symbolizes the process that separates between the past and the future. From a certain philosophical perspective, we are in a state of constant transition. The period between the month of Elul until Yom Kippur serves to mark the special time which that we allot to examining our transition from the previous year to the coming one.
Elul and the days of repentance therefore become a window of opportunity for a new start. From the past to the present, from our present situation to our ideal one. Generally speaking, life in the inverse of this—we go from our ideal state of being and end ourselves where we currently are, but this special time of the year allows us to dream, to think, to plan and to repair our lives with an optimistic tone.
Our sages ask why Jacob, midst fleeing the vengeance of his brother Esau, stopped on the want and to go to sleep. The answer they give is that he wanted to dream in order to find out where to go.
Friends, I invite each one of you to take this opportunity and this period of soul searching to dream about our lives, where we want to go and then to begin slowly to work on ourselves to make our dreams become reality—as individuals, as a community, as a nation and as members of the human race.
I wish all of us fruitful, meaningful and constructive soul-searching.
Rabbi Mauricio Balter