When Batman is needed in Gotham, the Commissioner turns on the Bat Signal.
When Judaism is needed in my life, Elul turns on its own homing device.
I find it bemusing that I can always tell when the lunar month is about to begin. Ask me at any other point in the year what Hebrew month we’re in and you will receive a deer-in-headlights look. But without fail, Rosh Chodesh Elul subtly beckons me home, alerting me to the approaching Yamim Noar’im and the commencement of Introduction to Judaism courses in communities nationwide.
Like secular New Years’ resolutions, my dedication to observance waxes high in autumn, with a slight return to orthopraxis for Pesach, and a major decline during the summer months.
Then I miss it. I miss Shabbat melodies and reverence. I miss stumbling over foreign glyphs. I miss turning and turning and turning the beloved stories of Genesis and Exodus for new kernels of meaning.
Elul turned on the signal last week. I responded by consulting the movements’ websites to find a community, to find a sponsor, and to find a home.
May G-d grant me success in my endeavors.