This week, Wednesday, August 23, we enter into the new month of Elul. It is the 6th month; a month of preparation for the 7th month (where the High Holy Days exist). This is much like the day of preparation before the weekly Shabbat. “The week does not carry Shabbat … Shabbat carries the week.” You get out of Shabbat what you put into Shabbat. You will get from the High Holy Days what you put into the High Holy Days. Just like most of you would try to get cleaned up and put on your best clothes to welcome the Shabbat; so, we should all work on getting cleaned up and prepared for the High Holy Days.
Since Shabbat is a special Day of rest, preparations normally occur throughout the week. Likewise the month of Elul is usually focused on the upcoming 7th month of the High Holy Days. As it is important to wear your best clothes on Shabbat; the High Holy Days also have traditional special dress. It is a blessing to be aware of God’s calendar. If we approach Shabbat like any other day, we are not setting it apart as God instructed us. Likewise, if we approach the 7th month, Tishrei, like any other month, we are not following God’s instructions to us.
I encourage you to focus, more than usual, on God in preparation for a special Season with Him during the High Holy Days. As it would be wise to prepare for a special Meeting with Him each and every Shabbat. Never approach God’s Special Times as anything less than special. It is His choice to set apart the 7th day of the week (Shabbat) as He also sets apart the 7th month (containing the High Holy Days.