[During Elul, the] ‘month of teshuva,’ we need to reflect on our life:
How is it going? and Where is it going? This month is a time to harvest the lessons of the previous year and formulate a prayer vision for the coming year.
The labor of thinking these questions through, writing down concrete visions, and crafting resolutions is… the primary work of Elul…
So, what exactly does this work entail? …it is a two-fold task of making closure and creating vision.
The first is a backward-facing reflection on the year gone by. What went right and what went wrong? What was my role in its failures? What can I do to fix it? This backward-focused work also includes a more practical dimension of resolving conflicts, returning borrowed objects, paying off debts, making neglected apologies. That’s one part of the work.
And then with all that under our belt, we need to now look forward and articulate our visions, prayers, hopes and resolutions for the coming New Year.