During the month of Elul, we are called to do a cheshbon ha’nefesh, an accounting of the soul. We are asked to take stock of our lives – our actions, our relationships, our decisions. We reflect on the past year and think about how and why we will change in the coming year. One of the ways we do this is by changing our “business as usual” mentality, and giving ourselves permission to step out of our routines and dive into the hard work of the High Holiday season: understanding ourselves. 

One of the ways that we do this is to recite Achat Sha’alti during the conclusion of our service. This verse, from Psalms 27, asks us to consider what it is that we want from our lives.

One thing I ask of Adonai, only that do I seek:

to live in the house of Adonai all the days of my life,

to gaze upon the beauty of Adonai, and to frequent God’s temple.

Elul is a time of searching, oF reflecting, of challenging ourselves. We ask ourselves a litany of questions: Who am I? Am I the person that I want to be? Do my actions reflect my values?  What do I need to live a life of meaning?

Elul is our opportunity to think about how we’re going to do better and be better in the coming year. Let’s make it count.