Jewish Journal

Elul Meditation

by Rabbi John Rosove

August 18, 2013 | 7:08 am

I am husband and father,
Brother, son, colleague, and friend.

I am a congregational rabbi,
And a Jew in the pews.

I am a cancer survivor,
And support those with cancer,
And heart disease,
And dementia,
And mental illness,
And people in bad marriages,
And with troubled kids,
And unsatisfying jobs,
And too little money,
And frustrated lives.

I am one human being,
And life moves through me,
And through you,
Except when it doesn’t.

Life is wondrous,
Most of the time,
But sometimes it hurts like hell!

There is a second me too,
And a second you –
The always-present Neshamah
That hovers and waits
To become one with Nefesh,
The earthly-animal-life-force
That keeps us alive.

The Neshamah connects us to Divinity,
And infuses us with Essence,
And inspires us
To think and know
That we come closest to God
When we know that we are no-thing
And part of the All.

When we are most receptive to Neshamah
Our lives work.

In Elul each morning I awake wondering –
What is my greatest challenge?
What troubles me about me?
What gives me heartache and grief?
What ruins enslave me?

Am I patient and kind enough,
Generous and respectful enough,
Understanding and wise enough,
Appreciative and grateful enough?

The Yamim Noraim are coming!
There is little time.

Tracker Pixel for Entry


View our privacy policy and terms of service.




Rabbi John L. Rosove assumed his duties as Senior Rabbi of Temple Israel of Hollywood in November 1988. A native of Los Angeles, he earned a BA in Art History from UC Berkeley...

Read more.