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What is the Month of Elul?

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

The month of Elul in the Hebrew Calendar is 29 days of preparation for Rosh HaShanah. Rosh HaShanah is G-d’s annual day of judgment for every person. A Noahide should use these days to look back and evaluate his or her conduct over the past year. In 2023 the 1st of Elul begins after sundown on Wednesday 16th of August - 30th of Menachem Av and 1st of Ellul on Friday 18.08.

Ellul is an entire month devoted to examination of our conduct in the previous year and preparation for change and progress in the year to come. Like a storekeeper who closes his operations from time to time to take inventory, this is a month dedicated to taking stock of our conduct and seeing how it can be improved.

Introspection, however, does not always lead to positive results. On the contrary, sometimes, it just makes us heavy, without propelling us forward.

Introspection is valuable when we have a purpose. Then our thoughts are directed to defining our goals and purpose more clearly and seeing whether or not our deeds are aligned with these purpose.

For when a person feels purpose and direction, he is charged with energy and feels the need to accomplish and achieve. He wants to see the goals in which he believes and identifies to be manifested in actual life. Therefore he is both active and reflective. He desires to do, but wants his actions to be constructive and fruitful. So from time to time, he appraises his activities and sees whether they are aligned with his ultimate objective or whether it is necessary to redirect his focus.

When we set aside time to review [and correct] our conduct with this focus during the month of Elul, we will ensure ourselves a ketivah va’chatimah tovah. [This is the Hebrew phrase which means “written and sealed for good” – in G-d’s Book of Life when He judges us on Rosh HaShanah.]…

By Rabbi Dr. Michael Shulman


Rabbi Dr. Michael Schulman is the Director of Ask Noah International, a partner of the Noahide Academy. He is the Editor of the Divine Code.


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