I am My Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine
Today. We begin again…today. Tonight’s moon represents a turning. A REturning. To a place of beginning. Of renewal. Of healing.
It is Rosh Chodesh Elul. Thirty days from now, we will close this year. Reflecting on what has transpired. Of missed opportunities. Of loved ones now gone from this world. And we begin the process of repentance. Of reconciliation. Of return.
With eyes full of wonder, our Sages sought meaning buried deep within the layers of text. A closer examination of the name of this month, Elul, reveals that the letters can serve as an acronym for a verse from Song of Songs.
אֲנִי לְדוֹדִי וְדוֹדִי לִי I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.
Often regarded as love poetry between a man and a woman, the Rabbis have long seen it as an allegorical portrait of the relationship between God and the People Israel. The Beloved, therefore, being God. As in, “I am my God’s and my God is mine.”
I am moved deeply by the intimacy that this sets up between God and us. Between God and me. The closing line from a favourite piyut chanted during Yom Kippur morning reminds us of this sacred and loving relationship.
כי אנו רעיתך ואתה דודנו We are Your Beloved and You are our Dearest
As we make our way through this month, may we sense again God’s Nearness and Love.
Looking for some daily inspiration through this preparatory month? Sign up for the Jewels of Elul. To compliment this project, a daily Blogging tour will feature essays and words of wisdom from various voices within the Jewish world — including Frume Sarah’s. The tour kicks off with a stunning poem written by the Ima.