(for the Jewish month of Elul, which happens to coincide pretty perfectly with the month of September this year, I’m going to try to blog once a day about one of the themes for the month to prepare for the upcoming Yamim Nora’im or High Holy Days. I will most likely blog in the evenings, so it will technically already be the next day in the Hebrew calendar, but I’m really going to try to keep up with this! you can pop on over to originator Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s blog for more details about this project.)
the most interesting part about today’s word being seek is that the thing I need to seek the most right now is time—time to do things, time to reflect, and, yes, time to do nothing and refresh myself. (you can read more about my complicated relationship with time here.) I also think, though, that the idea of seeking is more complex than just searching; that seeking has a connotation of going on more of a journey during that search—which is what this month is.
I suppose the obvious route to think about today’s word, then, is to think about what has prompted this blogging journey for me—the fact that I am seeking community again and hoping to feel connected again. so this month is about finding a place where I fit in and where my relationship and story are celebrated. before I do that, though, I think this month is a good time for me to also seek some direction for myself since I’m taking some time off from grad school and it’s time to start thinking about the next step. is it a career change? a move? finishing a book? getting another cat? there are so many possibilities, which is both exciting and terrifying, and the time before the new year seems like a great time to examine those possibilities and try to figure out what steps I can start taking to prepare.
that said, we all know I’m not keen on just the obvious—so I want to think about a broader idea that seek brought to mind. one of my favorite bits of scripture is actually from this week’s parshah, which is tzedek tzedek tirdof—or, as more commonly cited, “justice, justice, you shall pursue.” so something to think about this month as I prepare for the upcoming year is, “what have I done to pursue justice? what will I do next to continue that work? how can I support others in their pursuit of justice?” as I consider the answers to these questions, I think I’m also going to be encouraging the people around me to consider these, including my students—and I am hoping to continue letting these questions guide my work moving forward.