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    The month of waiting

    Ellul is the lead-up to the High Holydays.

    Each day until Sh’mini Atzeret we add Psalm 27 to the service. We greet people with words that evoke the rarefied atmosphere of the festive season.

    Whatever we can do or say during Ellul has a tinge of the Days of Awe. The closer we get to the end of the month, the more our spirits are aroused. Ellul is the month of waiting, knowing that any day now we will reach the year’s peak.

    The imminence of the new year moves us and excites us. Indeed the whole of Judaism is a spiritual waiting room, though it isn’t a train we are waiting for. We are waiting for history to reach its culmination in the coming of Mashi’ach, when the world will be (as Alenu says) “perfected under the Kingdom of the Almighty”.

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