An old Cherokee grandfather was teaching his grandson about life.
"My son," he said to the boy, "there’s a battle going on inside all of us. It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil; he is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego. The other is good; he is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, and truth.”
The grandson thought about it and asked, "Grandfather, which wolf will win?"
The old man replied, "The one you feed."
Every month has its own unique energies and spiritual opportunities. September 3rd begins the month of Elul (meaning “full circle”). In Jewish tradition, as the last month of the Jewish year, it is a time of reflection and spiritual accounting. Elul is a time of affirmation and healing, to be with oneself in introspection before the month of Tishri, the month of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the time of transformation. Elul is the month for teshuvah. Teshuvah has many facets to it, but on a deep level it is a return to who we really are, our true essence, our inner wholeness, our inner beauty and potential. Elul is on the threshold of transformation, but we can choose to not step over that threshold. We can choose to ether meet Rosh Hashanah just as we are, or we can choose to plant fresh seeds for new growth.
The month of Elul reminds us that there are endings, but endings are only the beginnings of something new. What will that “new” be for Ahavas Israel? We will certainly be somewhere in 10 years, but where will that be? Will we be a wandering generality with no focus, or will we with kavannah (sacred intention) build our community into what we need for it to be in our current time and circumstances? We’re on the threshold of a new beginning. Will you stay where you are, mourning a past that we’ll not see again; or will you step over the threshold with me to a new beginning? Which wolf will you feed: the one that is apathetic, disconnected, jaded, or resentful, or the one that puts away old resentments and chooses to look to a common future regarding outcomes, in a positive, hands-on, and influential manner, while connected with compassion to our community?
Will you at least be open to new possibilities, or have you made up your mind that you’ll remain where you are? Which wolf will you feed?