Quotes from Reuven Hammer’s Entering the High Holy Days
Pg 37-38 the letters of Elul form an acronym for the words in the verse ani le-dodi ve-dodi li”, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” (Song 6:3). Believeing that the beloved refers to God, the Sages take this verse to describe the particularly loving and close relationship between God and Israel. Elul, then, is our time to establish this closeness so that we can approach the Yamim Nora’im in trusting acceptance of God’s judgement. We approach the trial not out of fear, but out of love.
Pg. 42 It is often pointed out that the Hebrew word for “had I not” is lulei, which (in Hebrew) is Elul backwards. By the conclusion of Elul we should be ready for the most important days of the year. We have become alert to the need for self-scrutiny, we are aware of the approach of the day of judgement, and yet we are assured by the promise of God’s love and closeness. The sounds of the warning shofar have already entered our consciousness, and the feeling of forgiveness has been awakened.