We are entering the homestretch. Aug. 9 is the first of Elul, the last month in the Jewish calendar. It is a time when Jews around the world begin to prepare for the High Holy Days by saying prayers called "Selichot." These are prayers to ask forgiveness of God. It is said that after the Israelites sinned at Mt. Sinai by worshipping the Golden Calf, Moses went back up for another 40 days and nights and prayed for forgiveness. He started on Rosh Chodesh Elul (the first day of Elul) and was forgiven on Yom Kippur.
Elul is your opportunity to think about your Golden Calf: What did you do this year that you regret? Was it a video game you became obsessed with? Was it an overwhelming desire for all your clothes to have a certain logo on them? Did your parents get mad at you because of these things, or did you neglect friends who weren't dressed as "cool" as you were? The great thing about this month -- and Yom Kippur -- is that you get to make a fresh start every year!