The month of Elul before the High Holy Days is a time of spiritual awakening. Asking ourselves some, or all, of the questions below in the days before the Yamim Nora'im (Days of Awe) can provide a jump start to the soul-searching required to achieve that new awareness.
What is it like for you to face
What is your image of Gd these days? How has it changed in
How have shifts in your life unfolded? Slowly? Suddenly? In
What does it feel like for you to receive a gift? To give a
Teshuvah: what do you yearn to return to? To heal? To
salvage from your situation?
How do you frame your experience within a Jewish context?
What are the doorways into your Jewish identity?
How do you increase your attentiveness to the nuance of
life? Does that mirror a divine attentiveness? If so, how? (Are you mirroring in your life
how Gd might be manifested?)
Where do you feel more energy in your life? Where do you
feel whole, engaged, energized,
clear, fully present? How does that feel? (Might this be a face of Gd for you?). And its opposite: where do you
feel dragged down, alienated, cloudy?
What is it like to be connected?
What do you yearn for?
What obstacles exist for you?
Where in your body do you register different emotions? (Psalm
40, “Your Torah implanted in my
viscera” and “Your scroll inscribed upon me”)
How might you discern between acting for your own self
interest and acting for the interest
of others? How do you understand “to act justly, to love kindly, and to walk modestly with your G-d” (Micah 6:8)?
How might a connection with G-d impact how you live?
What is your understanding and experience of your soul? Do
you feel a connection with other souls?
Facing decisions, how do you make a choice? What is the role
of the voices within you that drag out a
decision, or sabotage or support your decisions? What has it felt like to ‘reach consensuses within you?
How has that affected the way you carried
out your decision?
How does self-deception play out in your life?
self-inflation? Hiding from necessary confrontation?
How do you imagine that you are a co-creating partner with
How does imagining your life as a work of art aid in your
What boundaries might you have to cross if you followed your
How do you perceive the sacred within the ordinary? (berur
Addison, p. 98)
How would you discern that something was, or was not,
pleasing to G-d?
What do you think are your gifts? What do you bring to the
What is your prayer as we open our discussion? (and, then
after the session)What is your prayer
as we leave each other?
Upon whose opinions do you lean, in making difficult
decisions? Do you lean upon your own
opinion, as well?
Can you get in touch with those moments when there is no
separate identity, between you and
How would you react to the statement:, “We are not the
finite aspiring to the Infinite; rather,
we are the Infinite expressed as finite.” (Weinberg, p. 134)
Or, “We know fragmentation; we intuit unity” (p. 135)
How do you experience ‘your Self’? and how might you imagine
that you could experience an
How do you experience the words ‘trust’? ‘surrender’?
‘sweetness’? ‘to understand’?
One of G-d’s name is “I will be who I will be”. How do you respond to that facet of GD?
How does it feel when you are open to a new idea or
How does it feel when you shut yourself to a new idea or
What if your actions affected the cosmos? How would that
affect your behavior?
Describe a moment of wonder in your life, of holiness.
Let us examine how you celebrate and live in the cycle of