Poems for the Month of Elul, by Rabbi Diane Elliot

As we begin our annual immersion in the practice of teshuvah, Rabbi Diane Elliot offers some poems/prayers.

“Teshuvah,” as defined by Yaacov David Shulman, translator of Lights of Teshuvah by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, means “return.”

“It is the return to God; the return to health; the return to our soul; the return to the universe; the return to a mended planet; the return to happiness; the return to home.” —Yaacov David Shulman, 2017

Teach Me to Forgive

Adon Ha-S’likhot
Master of Pardonings,
teach me to forgive—
to forgive myself,
to forgive You,
to forgive those who have hurt me
in the name of ignorance, mindlessness,
certainty, rigidity,
even righteousness and justice, 
even love;
to forgive the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
to forgive nature, human and otherwise,
personal and impersonal, 
majestic and petty;
to forgive death,
to forgive You,
to forgive myself—
to forgive it all,
so that I may open to life,
living-and-dying as it is,
flowing through me
carrying it all along,
a great river of living-and-dying,
a mighty stream of birthing-and-dying,
a towering wave of living-and-dying.
Holy Merciful one
Ba’al Ha-Rakhamim,
teach me to forgive.

––Rabbi Diane Elliot ©2019

Prayer for Elul  

Make me a Shofar
Spiral of the Cosmos,
Hollow, empty
Ready to be blown
by the Power of Truth

––Rabbi Diane Elliot ©2019

Rabbi Diane’s new book, Unbounded Heart: Poems and Prayers, can be found on Amazon and on MoreBooks.