Elul Project 5783: Today the World was Born

היום הרת עולם

Today the World was Born

a daily email series compiled by Kelly Whitehead

Hayom harat olam. Today is the birthday of the world.

After the sounding of the shofar during the Amidah on Rosh Hashanah, we say, “Hayom harat olam,” or “today is the birthday of the world.” However, hara does not translate easily as birth. A more precise translation of the refrain that follows the shofar blasts would be: “Today the world is conceived.” Or perhaps, “today the world becomes pregnant.” In a way, we as God’s metaphorical creations are somehow in the womb, waiting to be born, with no guarantees of what will follow in the coming year. This notion of creation’s anniversary celebrated on Rosh Hashanah coincides with the Day of Judgment – a sort of annual review for God’s creations. Throughout the month of Elul, we invite you to take part in Temple Micah’s daily reflection as we explore the symbols of birth, beginning, conception, manifestation, judgment, and creation in preparation of the coming year.

The idea of the Jewish New Year as the conception of the world perhaps gives room for us to place ourselves in the context of both the formation of a greater world and the creation of our own lives. Elul is a chance for us to apply a sense of neutral judgment and reflect on the balance between our role as insignificant subjects of the universe’s creation and our role as crucial architects of our own creations. As we are experiencing a moment in which the timelines of conception of life, birth, and human creation feel ever present, we invite you to reflect on different forms of genesis.

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Day 1: Hayom Harat Olam  Day 2: Shalom Sesame: Creation Day 3: In Good Time 
Day 4: Rest  Day 5: Shabbat Arrives in the World  Day 6: Ability to Create
Day 7: Psalms 33:15 Day 8: Reinventing Yourself Day 9: The Risk of Longing
Day 10: The Kitchen Table Day 11: Bani Adam Day 12: Isaiah 66:14
Day 13: Memories Day 14: Elemental Conception  Day 15: Laughter
Day 16: Starting From Scratch  Day 17: To Be Day 18: Prayer Upon Giving Birth
Day 19: Carried or Cared For  Day 20: Clinic Day 21: Perseverance 
Day 22: Fate Day 23: Hope Day 24: Identity 
Day 25: Rite of Passage  Day 26: Meaning Day 27: Joy 
Day 28: Truth  Day 29: Creation   
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