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The Tabernacle Times
_____ August 2013 _____________________ Av - Elul 5773 _____________________ Volume 8 Issue 8_____


Rabbi & Brenda

by Rabbi Jeremy & Brenda Storch

The Hebrew month of Elul (late summer/early fall) begins the season of repentance, or teshuvah, in spiritual preparation for the High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur).  In the Rabbinic calendar Elul is the last month of the year - a time of reflection and to turn away from sin before the start of the New Year.  It is a time to prepare by getting our spiritual house in order.

Background at Sinai
Every year the "Season of Teshuvah" runs forty days from the first day of Elul to Yom Kippur.  During this time we make every effort to repent, or "turn" (shuv) toward God.  Teshuvah is a sort of death and rebirth: a death of the past life and the birth of a new life and a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).  It is an awakening from the sleep induced by sin, and manifests itself as the power of the Holy  Spirit working in the heart of the believer who trusts in God's salvation through Yeshua (Jesus).  Therefore the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) gives us

spiritual life that enables us to be "conformed" (formed together) with Yeshua's purpose in this world (Rom. 8:28-30).  God's Favor is most fully revealed in the character of His Son (Heb. 1:3).

Forty Days of Teshuvah
But why forty days?  Do we really need that much time to prepare ourselves to repent and make confession for our sins?  Jewish tradition determined that the forty days came from Israel's experience at Sinai (Yeshua also spent "40 days" in the wilderness).  The month of Elul represents the time that Moses spent on Sinai preparing the second set of tablets after the idolatrous incident of the Golden Calf.  Moses ascended on the first day of Elul and then descended 40 days later on the 10th of Tishri, the end of Yom Kippur, when the repentance of the people was complete.  The month of Elul therefore represents the time of national sin and forgiveness obtained by means of teshuvah (repentance) before the Lord.

            (Continued on Page 2)

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