Seeking God in Elul
Psalm 27 is read twice daily from the beginning of the month of Elul through the holiday of Sukkot in order to help each Jew develop the beautiful relationship that one can have with the Divine.
“One thing have I asked of God, one thing do I desire: that I may dwell in the house of God all the days of my life, to behold the graciousness of God, and to visit in His temple” (27:4). This poignant phrase is an expression of the true longing that is reflected in this Psalm. While one may look to God as a protector and a savior (which, indeed, is how God is referred to through much of this Psalm), it is critical to also seek out God and to try to be close to Him.
Psalm 27 was written by King David, who certainly did not have an easy life (King Saul wanted him dead, his sons rebelled…), and yet King David remained steadfast in his faith in God. With all his troubles, David had the incredible gift of being able to look at the world and recognize the ways in which God protected him. “Had I not believed that I would look upon the goodness of God in the land of the living!–Hope in the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, hope in the Lord.”
The month of Elul, which leads into Rosh Hashana, is a time for reflecting on the wonderful gift of having a relationship with the Divine–and how one can work to achieve that relationship.
This Treat was originally sent on Tuesday, August 25, 2009.
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