The Author


It is a great time of year to let go of past grievances with people and an equally great time to ask the Almighty to support us in granting those people complete and total amnesty.

In the Jewish tradition, the Hebrew month of Elul is a time of Teshuva (repentance) in preparation for the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The Talmud writes that the Hebrew word Elul can be expanded as an acronym for “Ani L’dodi V’dodi Li” – “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song of Songs, 6:3). Elul is seen as a time to search one’s heart and draw close to God in preparation for the coming Day of Judgement, Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), and the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.

This can sometimes be very difficult, especially if we’ve been badly hurt and if the residual feelings of pain have not been dealt with.

Make a list of all the behaviors and incidents over the past year that you would like to be forgiven for. Then make a list of all the people with whom you have grievances and write down what you need to forgive them for, while asking Hashem (God) for the support you need to rid your heart from hatred, anger, resentment and jealousy.

You are a beautiful person, both inside and out, and Hashem is right here, in the field, waiting to hear your prayers. He loves you and wants only what’s best for you. He knows you much better than you know yourself, so let go and let God in.

As Jews, we are so incredibly blessed to have been given this amazing opportunity to do some serious cheshbon hanefesh (soul searching/self examination) and to begin a New Year with a clean slate.

Let us take the opportunity head on and make Hashem, our Father in Heaven, proud of us for making the effort to start a new year from scratch.

Rosh Hashana

Article by Cigal Gabay

Cigal Gabay made Aliyah from Vancouver almost 10 years ago as a single woman. She is a child and family therapist, a wife and a mother of three small children, committed to living a life of truth, love and passion for the loves of her life: her family and her beloved country, Israel. She also has her own blog: