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Renew yourself!

ברכת ראש חודש

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

There is something special in the optimism of a new month. We renew ourselves, just like the moon, since we have the chance to start all over again. On this past Shabbat morning in synagogues throughout the world, a blessing was recited in honor of the new month of Elul which will arrive this Thursday and Friday.

The month of Elul is especially significant since it is the last month of the old year (5783) as we prepare for the new one (5784). Elul presents us with the opportunity to ask: What is it that we wish to improve, to change, to upgrade? In which areas of life -- during this blessed time -- has our potential yet to be fulfilled? Here is a portion of the new month's blessing:

"יְחַדְּשֵׁהוּ הַקָּדושׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עָלֵינוּ וְעַל עַמּו יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁהֵם, לְטוֹבָה וְלִבְרָכָה, לְשָׂשׂון וּלְשִׂמְחָה, לִישׁוּעָה וּלְנֶחָמָה, לְפַרְנָסָה וּלְכַלְכָּלָה טוֹבָה, לִשְׁמוּעוֹת טוֹבוֹת, וְלִבְשׂורוֹת טוֹבוֹת, וְלִרְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה, וְלִגְאֻלָּה קְרוֹבָה, וְאִמְרוּ אָמֵן".

Here is the English translation to the blessing:

"May the Holy One, blessed by He, renew it (the new month) for us and for the entire nation of Israel, wherever they may be, for goodness and for blessing, for gladness and for joy, for deliverance and for consolation, for livelihood and for prosperity, for good news, for complete healing, for imminent redemption, and let us say: Amen."


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