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At the end of this week is Rosh Chodesh Elul, which begins a month of spiritual preparation before the High Holy Days. Among the customs of Elul are blowing the shofar at morning services as a reminder of the approaching New Year and the recitation of Psalm 27, which states Achat shaalti mei-eit Adonai (“One thing do I ask of Adonai“)… shivti b’veit Adonai kol y’mei chayai (“to live in the house of Adonai all the days of my life.”).

If we can think of “the house of Adonai” as synonymous to Temple, the verse reminds us of the importance of supporting and participating in Temple life. The verse also conveys a larger spiritual message. Since God’s omnipresence can not be confined, holiness is a state of being. When we act in a way that reflects the Divine Image, we are inviting God’s presence into our lives. As Elul draws near, may all of us act in ways that, indeed, make our world “God’s house.”

B’Shalom,
Rabbi Bellush