For today, Va-Yeitzei, Genesis 28:10 – 32:3 – the first parts of Jacob’s biography.
From the parashah, Genesis chapter 28:
16 Jacob awoke from his sleep and said: Why, Adonai is in this place, and I, I did not know it!
17 He was awestruck and said: How awe-inspiring is this place! This is none other than a house of God, and that is the gate of heaven!
Not only does the parashah contain the words that appear on the ark here at Beth El about God being in this place, it also reminds us of the real meaning of the somewhat diminished word “awesome” – as in the awe that is inspired by an experience of the divine.
Elul acts as our prelude to the High Holy Days, or Days of Awe, when we imagine ourselves in the divine presence, feeling awe, and figuring out what our responses to awe should be. Happy reflections everyone!