The Hebrew calendar is lunar, rather than solar like the Gregorian calendar, which is used throughout most of the world. However, unlike the lunar Muslim calendar, the Hebrew calendar includes leap years, making Jewish holidays seasonal. Passover, for example, is always in the Spring; Chanukah is always in the Winter. The exact dates of our holidays vary from year to year on the Gregorian calendar, but they are always celebrated at the same time of year.
Ten years ago, my wife and I got married on August 30, which corresponded to the first of the Hebrew month of Elul. Some years, our Hebrew anniversary is in September, but this year it falls on the evening of August 8th (as lunar days begin at sunset). One could say that we have two wedding anniversaries.
The Hebrew word Elul is traditionally understood as an acronym for the phrase ‘Ani l’dodi v’dodi li’ (אני לדודי ודודי לי) – ‘I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.’ Usually, this phrase is considered to be a reference to the loving relationship between God and the Jewish people, which is especially relevant during Elul, coming, as it does, just before the Jewish High Holy Days when, according to tradition, we stand before God in judgment. However, this phrase is also quite popular in a romantic context, and it graced the cover of of our beautiful wedding invitations…
Jerusalem heat drops in the summer evenings ~ in time for sushi
For this ‘Haibun Monday’ at d’Verse, we were prompted to write about whatever inspires us about this month — the namesake of Augustus, the solemn memorials to inhumanity and survival, madcap vacationing in sultry weather, or traditional Autumn — write a haibun alluding to August.