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Voice of the Lord

He will hide me in the folds of his tent [sukkah], he will set me high on a rock (Psalms 27:5).

Jewish Date

ELUL
1

The final month of the Jewish year, Elul is a time to prepare spiritually for the High Holy Days. Tradition recommends reciting the psalms throughout Elul, especially Psalms 27. Why this particular psalm? It opens, "ADONAI is my light and salvation." A Midrash (traditional commentary) states that "my light" refers to Rosh HaShanah (the traditional New Year), the Day of Judgment. Likewise, "my salvation" refers to Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), when God provides salvation through atonement for sins. Finally, Psalms 27 hints at Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) in the words, "He will hide me in the folds of his tent [sukkah]."

This last reference is surprising. A sukkah is a temporary and even flimsy structure, yet the psalmist uses it as a synonym for God's house. A sukkah is a place to celebrate God's deliverance of our people from Egypt, yet the psalmist calls it a place to hide from trouble. This provides a lesson for us. Elul is a time of spiritual preparation. The most essential preparation may be learning to hide in the Lord. We need to examine ourselves, confess wrong, and make amends; however, we are not fully prepared until we seek refuge in God's mercy. This may seem like a flimsy response to our trials, but God's refuge is secure.


...seek restoration by drawing close to the Lord and depending on his mercy.

RR

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