The Month of Elul
Seasons of the Moon The month of Elul is the time of return. A time where we try to sensitize ourselves to our mistakes and work on rectifying them. Elul is a time of preparation. Preparing for the day on which the whole world is to be judged - Rosh Hashana.

We cannot return to the path from which we have strayed unless we are prepared to search. That search has to start with an analysis of our own actions. This 'soul-searching' is reflected in the name of the month itself, for Elul means 'searching' in Aramaic.

The sign of the month of Elul is the maiden, which symbolizes modesty and purity, essential traits for a true return. The faculties of understanding and insight that have a connection to Elul are, according to the deeper sources, feminine attributes.

A person born under the influence of the sign of Virgo (Betula in Hebrew) has a natural inclination to analyze in great detail, and a propensity to be a perfectionist. When used positively, these attributes are essential tools in returning to the spiritual path. For we must analyze in great detail where we have gone wrong if we are to have any chance of perfecting ourselves.

Similarly, without the aspiration to perfect ourselves, we will never be motivated to change even the smallest fault that we possess.

More articles available at Ohr Somayach's website.