TODAY IN JUDAISM: Monday, September 3, 2012
Today is: Monday, Elul 16, 5772 · September 3, 2012

Today's Laws & Customs

Elul Observances

As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionaly a time of introspection and stocktaking -- a time to review one's deeds and spiritual progress over the past year and prepare for the upcoming "Days of Awe" of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

As the month of Divine Mercy and Forgiveness (see "Today in Jewish History" for Elul 1) it is a most opportune time for teshuvah ("return" to G-d), prayer, charity, and increased Ahavat Yisrael (love for a fellow Jew) in the quest for self-improvement and coming closer to G-d. Chassidic master Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi likens the month of Elul to a time when "the king is in the field" and, in contrast to when he is in the royal palace, "everyone who so desires is permitted to meet him, and he receives them all with a cheerful countenance and shows a smiling face to them all."

Specific Elul customs include the daily sounding of the shofar (ram's horn) as a call to repentance. The Baal Shem Tov instituted the custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the 1st of Elul until Yom Kippur (on Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms). Click below to view today's Psalms.

Chapter 46 Chapter 47 Chapter 48

Elul is also the time to have one's tefillin and mezuzot checked by an accredited scribe to ensure that they are in good condition and fit for use.

Links: More on Elul

Daily Quote

Ten things were created at twilight of Shabbat eve: the mouth of the earth [that swallowed Korach]; the mouth of [Miriam's] well; the mouth of [Balaam's] ass; the rainbow; the manna; [Moses'] staff; the shamir; the writing, the inscription and the tablets [of the Ten Commandments]. Some say also the burial place of Moses and the ram of our father Abraham. And some say also the spirits of destruction as well as the original tongs, for tongs are made with tongs

- Ethics of the Fathers 5:6

Daily Study

Chitas and Rambam for today:

Chumash: Ki Tavo, 2nd Portion Deuteronomy 26:12-26:15 with Rashi
English / Hebrew Linear Translation | Video Class

Tehillim: Chapters 79 - 82
Hebrew text
English text

Tanya: Iggeret HaKodesh, end of Epistle 14
English Text: Lessons in Tanya
Hebrew Text
• Audio Class: Listen | Download
Video Class

• Sefer Hamitzvos:
English Text | Hebrew Text | Audio: Listen | Download | Video Class
• 1 Chapter: Kiddush HaChodesh Chapter Seven
English Text | Hebrew Text | Audio: Listen | Download | Video Class
• 3 Chapters: Bechorot Chap. 5, 6, 7
English Text | Hebrew Text | Audio: Listen | Download

Hayom Yom:
English Text | Video Class
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