Elul is a charitable time, the time of special opportunities to show love to people. On these days it’s important to meet the financial needs our loved ones’ (and that of others). According to Hebrew tradition: when we are concerned with our material status – we’re being material, but when we focus our attention on the needs of other people – it’s the manifestation of our spirituality.
From the beginning of the Elul month and up until Yom Kippur it’s common to exchange letters and speak the words: “L’shanah Tovah!” – “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a year of good health and happiness!” For us, the believers of the New Testament, this tradition means that we are not only called to prepare ourselves but also to stand for others. It’s time to intercede boldly, with faith and compassion for God’s people, Israel, our loved ones, neighbors, and all who need God’s mercy.
This time is a special reminder that we can change people’s destiny. We can change the destiny of God’s children, temporarily lost in this world. We can change the destiny of non-believers around us. We can change the destiny of people in our towns and other countries. If we place our hearts on God’s altar and cry out for His mercy – the most incredible miracles could happen. We shouldn’t forget that, as believers of the New Testament, we have an important calling – to preach the Gospel in accordance with Biblical prophesies to the Jews (Psalm 126, Psalm 89: 15-18).
In their visions, the prophets often see the future as a “done deal”. And if God’s showing us something, we need to accept it with faith as something already accomplished. We have to reach with the truth of God’s word – the Jews (and people from other nations), telling them that God came for His people, that He wants to restore what’s been ruined, and He wants to restore the relationships of love with His people. That’s exactly what He does. When we start doing this, the delivered Jews and Christians will be amazed at God’s mercy and love. They will shout with joy when they witness the miracle – the returning of God to the hearts of His people (the phrase from verse 16 of Psalm 89 “They rejoice in your name all day long…” literally means “ They shout from joy in your name”; at the time of the end, God wants to restore this exuberant, “on the verge of shouting” joy – the joy of God’s glory restored among His people).
If God shows us this in the prophecies as reality, then we should accept it as something accomplished. No religious translations of the Bible, no religious restraints or fears should stand in the way of joyful and love-filled ministry to the people. We should reach them with salvation (first and foremost the Jews) and be happy that our names are in the Book of Life.
Elul is a feast less month, but it’s filled with the anticipation of the feast. There’s speculation that the name of the Elul month is derived from the initial letters of Song of Songs 6:3 – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”. Interestingly, this phrase describes the love of the bride that has been set aside especially for her groom. There’s another similar interpretation of the Elul month name - the abbreviation of the phrase “Ani ledodi vedodi li” (Song of Songs 7:11). Thus it’s stressed that if we truly belong to our Beloved, we should try our best to do His will and things He expects from us.
In Elul, it’s customary to blow the trumpet using “teruah” technique – Announcing the arrival of the bridegroom and the calling of the bride.
In other words, Elul – is the month when the bride is making herself ready for what is described in the book of Revelation: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” (Revelation 19:7)