Joke about how long it took me to walk to Shul....
1921 Alex Haley was born - chose to write "Roots" - published on 17 August 1976
Haley earned a Pulitzer Prize special award in 1977 for Roots. The television miniseries garnered many awards, including nine Emmys.
The novel spent forty-six weeks on The New York Times Best Seller List, including twenty-two weeks at number one.
When Alex Haley dies in 1992, Marley Russoff, Executive Directory for Publicity at Doubleday (original publishers) said that nearly 6 million copies and had been published in more than two dozen foreign countries
1984 Reagan jokes about bombing Russia
As he prepared for his weekly radio address on August 11, 1984, President Reagan was asked to make a voice check. Reagan obliged, declaring, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes." Since the voice check was not actually broadcast, it was not until after he delivered his radio address that news of his “joke” began to leak out...
...Ironically, the man who also referred to Russia as an “evil empire” went on to establish a close personal relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev after the latter came to power in 1985. The two men later signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1987, which eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons.
2014 Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams dies at 63
(26) See, this day I set before you blessing and curse: (27) blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God that I am commanding you this day; (28) and curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn away from the path that I am commanding you this day and follow other gods, which you have not known.
Over the last 11 months - what choices did we make?
Were we successful as a result of the correct ones?
What happened as a result of the poor choices we made?
How do we "get back to where we once belonged?"
Shir Hashirim refers to the love between Gd and the Jewish people and the Kabbalah teachings emphasize that our spiritual work during the month of Elul is to explore and search our souls, to find the good forces inside each and every one of us and apply them in the best way possible, so that they will positively influence the less favorable aspects of our personality.
How can we reconnect with Gd?
What are we going to do over the next month to prepare for the New Year?
How can we work towards achieving the blessings that Gd is promising us in this week's parsha?
On Rosh Chodesh Elul Moshe once more ascends the mountain. (Rashi Shemos 33:11 and Devarim 9:18) He is instructed in the 13 Attributes of Mercy
(1) For on the 17th of Tammuz the tablets were broken (he came down from first 40 days
on the 18th he burnt the calf and punished the offenders,
on the 19th he ascended the mountain, as it is said (Exodus 32:30) “And it came to pass on the next day (the day after he had punished the wrongdoers; cf. vv. 26—29), that Moses said unto the people”, [You have sinned a great sin and now I will go up to the Lord]”. There he spent forty days and sought mercy for the people,
These terminated on the last day of Ab
(there were 11 days from the 19th to the 29th of Tammuz therefore 29 days in Ab complete the forty) and he then returned to the people.
On the first day of the New Moon of Ellul (3300 years ago) it was said to him, (Exodus 34:2) “And be ready in the morning] and go up in the morning unto mount Sinai” — to receive the second tablets. He again spent there the forty days on the mountain.
On the tenth of Tishri God became reconciled with Israel in joy and perfect affection and said to Moses: “I have forgiven!” and handed him over the second tablets, whereupon Moses went down and began to command them concerning the work of the Tabernacle
Moses understood the gravity of the situation, despite what had happened and changed the course of history - to ensure that we are here today.
It is never too late to make good decisions and Ellul affords us that opportunity, if we take them!
|As Moshe said to Hashem - "We can work it out!"
Please Gd, we should all be blessed with a healthy, happy New Year with blessings as a result of our positive actions over the months ahead.