October 17, 2018

HINDSIGHT – The Art of Looking Back

In the spring of 2005, Eva Robbins commissioned me to write a setting for Psalm 27. At the time, I had no idea why she chose this text nor where her ask might lead me. Eva explained that the text was recited each of the 29 days of Elul – to prepare for the high holy days.

Intrigued, I wrote this song (download here) and thought it might be interesting to ask 29 friends to write short introspections on how the prepare for the holy days. Jewels of Elul was born.  I wrote the following as the introduction to the first volume of Jewels of Elul, released on Monday September 5th 2005.

Tradition suggests that we use this month to prepare for the high holy days. Easier said than done. Well, this year we have an idea that just might work! In this very spot, on each of the 29 days of Elul, 5765, we will post a “Jewel” of an idea from some wonderful national community leaders, teachers, artists and thinkers. Looking to lead a more fulfilling life? We just may have a few great ideas!

So began a tradition that spanned 10 years, featuring 290 Jewels for the month of Elul, concluding in 2014.   Every year since, our office has received hundreds of request for more Jewels.   Not one to disappoint, we selected 29 Jewels that we thought might resonate in 2017.

Beginning this Monday, we invite you to join us for HINDSIGHT – The Art of Looking Back. The contributions follow no set rules themes or patterns. What they do offer is a reflection of the deep diversity of our community and the hope that each of us has the gift to offer insight into life’s journey.

We begin the month of Elul with the very first Jewel of Elul first published on Monday September 5th, 2005 by one of my oldest friends – Esther Netter.

We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane, and look forward to hearing back from you.

To a sweet new year.