Elul-Virgo is a month of transformation. It is a time to prepare for new beginnings, as Elul is followed by the start of New Year, and is included in the 40 day period leading up to the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). Elul is therefore also a time of reflecting on the past year, of searching for our personal errors and transgressions. It is a time to repair our mistakes, and to take responsibility for making our human interactions more honest, so that we might go into the New Year with relationships improved.
Elul is often represented by a young woman, a daughter, as a stand-in for a new beginning. Elul corresponds to September in the Georgian calendar.
The video on the left tells the story of hopes for an immigrant’s hope for a new beginning. The Statue of Liberty, the landmark that greeted so many immigrants at end of their long journey, appears as a mirage in the deep blue ocean. As the Statue sparkles in the light and then becomes more visible, the viewer glides past it as if on a ship, before it recedes again. traditional Yiddish soldier’s lament sung by Sylvia Rubin Tepperman
The central video takes us through fields of grain, and includes a woman’s arm shaking a stalk of grain, as shown in the Zodiac for the month of Elul in the Stanton Street Shul.
electronic music: contemporary composer Bob Gluck
The video on the right shows an apartment building on the Lower East Side that is adorned with the bas relief of a woman’s face. Moving into the image frame we see a young woman from about 1920 in the lower east side and an image of a young woman as a symbol of Elul-Virgo from a medieval Hebrew manuscript. electronic music: contemporary composer Bob Gluck