This post is about the Jewish month of Tishrei, as it relates to The Chazak Plan: A 12 Month Journey to Spiritual Strength.
Rosh Chodesh Tishrei, Rosh Hashanah, begins Sunday night, the 13th of September, and lasts for two days.
Until after Yom Kippur, the focus on repentance continues. Choose an area of your life to repair or upgrade and add it to your daily checklist.
After Yom Kippur, the focus switches to the festivals of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. On Simchat Torah, we celebrate the completion of the yearly cycle of the Five Books of Moses and begin a new cycle with the book of Genesis. Now is a great time to join this annual study of the Bible. There is tremendous spiritual power in learning the same portion studied by millions of Jews around the world. Next Simchat Torah, when you finish the Bible, your celebration of the holiday will be even more meaningful.
Spend time each week learning the weekly Torah portion – there are many excellent articles, translations and commentaries available. (Two worth looking into, among other good choices, is The Stone Edition Chumash and The Gutnick Edition Chumash.) Preferably, each day, study 1/7th of the weekly portion (also known as an aliya) or study the whole portion on Shabbat.
If possible, study at least weekly with a partner, either the Bible or a different area of the Torah. To find a partner, you can contact your local synagogue or kollel, or go to http://www.partnersintorah.org/, who will pair you with a partner free of charge.
Torah study nourishes the soul as food nourishes the body. Study Torah every day of your life – even if only for a few minutes, e.g., reading a few pages from a book, an article, or listening to a class during your commute or while exercising. Preferably, have a set inviolate time for Torah study. Input into your checklist what and when you plan to study.
The two most important areas of Torah to study are (A) teachings which inspire you and (B) Jewish law – so you know how to act.
Questions for the month:
“Which behavioral change will I incorporate into my life?”
“Which translation or commentary on the Bible will I use for the upcoming annual cycle?”
“What area of Torah am I currently most drawn to? Who can I study it with, or from which resources?"
Have a Shana Tova,