Today is the first of the two days of Rosh Chodesh (“Head of the Month”) for the month of Elul. It is customary to practice sounding the shofar (ram's horn) on the 1st day, introducing the Elul atmosphere of soul-searching and repentance. As the last month of the year, Elul is a time for review and stocktaking for the closing year, as well as a time of preparation for the coming year. It is a time to audit one's spiritual accounts; a time to prepare for the "Days of Awe" which will be observed in the next Hebraic month of Tishrei.
Psalm 27 is recited at the end of the morning and afternoon prayers. Psalm 27:4 "One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I will look for: that I may live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to look upon the beauty of the Lord, and to worship in His holy house."
To receive all that the Lord has in store for us during Elul let us examine our own heart today. May we hear the clear sound of the trumpet giving warning of difficult times ahead. Ask God to lead us on the road to eternal life.