This is a photo of the entrance to our synagogue. Rarely a person arrives nowadays without commenting on its beauty. Sasha Conroy is responsible for this and her gardening helpers, most notably David and Sam. There is even an irrigation system in place to sustain its bloom. Many of us who come often to FPS might have ceased to notice this impressive addition to our garden. It is universally acknowledged that joy and appreciation diminishes after the initial spike. During the month of Elul why not look again at things we often forget to appreciate, looking up or out at sights that bring us joy.
Gratitude can always be sharpened, indeed focusing on the good is a skill. Elul, the preparation month before the HHD gives opportunities to reflect and consider.
In Musar, the system of ethical improvement created by Rabbi Israel Salanter, a later rabbi Rav Wolbe turns the idea of judgment of ourselves, so necessary for Elul into something appreciative too. (Alei Shur II p. 160): We find that in order to regret one’s transgressions, it is first necessary to know the enormous positive qualities which reside naturally within us. Looking for the good, out and in, is undeniably beneficial
It’s the 5th day of Elul, today Thursday 5th September, do check out all of our Elul activities as we gear up to Rosh Hashanah.