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Kavanah for the Month of Elul by Rabbi Yael Levy

As Elul begins, so does our turning toward the New Year.

As we turn, we are urged to give thanks for the year that has been, to appreciate the life that has flowed through us and express gratitude for the beauty, joy, delights and love we have experienced. And we are urged to acknowledge the difficulties and pain we encountered and the hurt we might have brought to ourselves and others.

We engage in this exploration to honor the fullness of life and clear our minds, hearts and souls so we will be ready to meet well whatever the New Year will bring.

We are headed into the year 5777. The Hebrew letter ayin corresponds to 70 and zayin corresponds to the number seven.  So the letters for this year can be read ayin zayin, 77, which means oz – strength – and zayin zayin, seven-seven, which means zuz, movement.

5777 offers the strength to align ourselves with the heavens and earth so that we will move with heart-directed wisdom and clarity.

The Strength is here; it is vast and powerful, present and available. We do not have to create or manufacture it. Our task is to open to receive the Infinite strength, and let it give us the courage and vitality to move and act with heart-directed wisdom and clarity.

5777 brings great potential for movement and change. As we prepare to enter this New Year, we are urged to do our own inner work so we will have the strength to contribute our gifts for the benefit of all.

The Strength is available, 5777 calls. Delve deeply, reach boldly and join together to move the world toward compassion, generosity and peace.

Let 5777 be the year we look back upon and say: That was the year we found the strength to move and act together to radically transform our world to leave it healthy and whole for our children’s children’s children.


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Psalm 27 for Elul: Translation by Rabbi Yael Levy

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It is traditional to recite Psalm 27 every morning during the month of Elul, the time of intense preparation for the new year. Here is a translation by Rabbi Yael Levy. You can download a free pdf of the psalm here.

To the Beloved,

The Infinite Presence is my light and expanse, whom should I fear?

Elul Week Four: Gathering Strength from the Divine Presence

Each week during the month of Elul, Rabbi Yael Levy provides spiritual practices designed to help us move toward the new year with heart-directed wisdom and clarity.

Gathering Strength from the Divine Presence

The tradition teaches that during the month of Elul, the Divine reaches toward us. The Divine seeks us. You are loved, the Mystery calls. You are loved for exactly who you are.  Come toward me. Let me be with you, let me guide you home to your deepest yearnings and highest truths.

Mindfulness Shabbat October 1: Nitzavim, The Last Shabbat of 5776

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On October 1, Rabbi Yael Levy will lead a Mindfulness morning service as well as Torah study to share in the teachings and wisdom of Parshat Nitzavim:

"Teachings from the Torah light the way:

Join Weekly Meditation Sits No Matter Where You Are

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You now can join A Way In’s weekly meditation sits led by Rabbi Yael Levy no matter where you live. 

The telephone number and access code to join has changed. Call 641-715-3580 on Thursdays between 7:55 and 8:00 a.m., Eastern Time.

The access code is: 695972#

Click here for international dial-in numbers.

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Psalm Cards for Rosh HaShanah

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A Way In's all-occasion greeting cards make meaningful Rosh HaShanah cards. Featuring Rabbi Yael's inspiring translations of Psalm verses matched with evocative nature photos, each set includes six cards and costs $18. 

Mindfulness Services for Yamim Noraim: Gathering Strength

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Welcome the year 5777 with Mindfulness, music and yoga. For a sixth year, Rabbi Yael Levy -- with Rabbis Margot Stein, Myriam Klotz and Shawn Zevit -- will lead a special Mindfulness Yamim Noraim service on the second day of Rosh HaShanah, Tuesday, October 4, in the third floor sanctuary at Mishkan Shalom. Click here for a flyer. 

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