14 Elul 5783/August 31, 2023
by Rabbi Matt Cohen
It is all too common to focus on our shortcomings and faults as we navigate our way through the contemplative journey of Elul. We harshly scrutinize all our imperfections and analyze and over-analyze the times we messed up. The hope is personal change and growth. As you engage in this spiritual exercise of self-evaluation, remember that you are imperfect and flawed, and that’s ok. Jewish tradition teaches, "Everything that came into being during the six days of creation requires improvement - for example, the mustard seed needs to be sweetened...also human beings need rectification (Bereishit Rabbah 11:6)." God chose to leave imperfection in the world so that we can constantly grow and become our best, imperfect selves. Change and growth is a natural part of life. As you walk on this path towards wholeness and repair, remember to show kindness and love to yourself. Take this time to recognize the blessing of imperfection in the world and the limitless potential for wholeness your own positive change and growth can bring to our beautifully imperfect world.
On Fridays, we post two Elul Thoughts, out of respect for those of us who choose not to look at technology on Shabbat. We wish you a blessed and restful Shabbat and hope you continue finding inspiration in our Elul Thoughts.