Re’eh (Rosh Chodesh Elul): Self and community
The following words of Torah were delivered by Dr Russell Harding on Shabbat, 11 August 2018:
Today is Rosh Chodesh Elul which begins a month of intense introspection leading to the Yamim Noraim. What can we learn about this from Parashat Re’eh that we just read? We have no shortage of choice – there are a total of 93 mitzvot from which to choose – 55 positive commandments and 38 prohibitions.
What can we learn from this week’s reading that will help us over the next month with the spiritual work that we need to do. I have chosen two mitzvot from the available 93.
The first is mitzvah 467 in Sefer Ha Chinuch which we read in the revii aliyah:
בָּנִ֣ים אַתֶּ֔ם לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֑ם לֹ֣א תִתְגֹּֽדְד֗וּ וְלֹֽא־תָשִׂ֧ימוּ קָרְחָ֛ה בֵּ֥ין עֵֽינֵיכֶ֖ם לָמֵֽת You are children of the Lord, your God. You shall neither cut yourselves nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.