“Ani LeDodi veDodi Li – I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine”
Advocate Osnat Sharon
The month of Elul and the ensuing Days of Awe are a time of reflection. We are told that the “King is in the Field,” He is here among us in the month of Elul. He is readily available and, in some ways, tangibly felt by our soul. Throughout the year, my pace of life is frantic, I must make on-the-spot decisions and meet with my clients and other advocates. I must appear in court in front of judges and dayanim and forcefully present my case on behalf of my clients; convinced as I am that justice is on her side, I must demonstrate unequivocal forcefulness.
However, during the month of Elul, everything is more gentle and fragile. Fewer exclamation marks. More question marks.
Rav Abraham Isaac Kook says that the entire process of repentance is one of elevation, of a desire to reach a better place which is the right one for us. When we repent, we set off on an upward path leading to something right and good; to pureness. During Elul, we live life at a slower pace. We do not race along the highway at top speed, we stroll through the field at a leisurely pace looking down at the ground, up at the sky, at the plants at the side of the road and at the birds nesting in the trees. We have time for thinking, introspection and connecting with our soul. We allow our soul to come to the fore and illuminate our path. We hark back to our beginnings, to the good and the pure. We ask ourselves: Where am I? Am I on the way to there? Have I done enough good? When I seem to be doing good, is it always the right thing to do? How often do I act because it is the right thing to do, and how often do I just do something so that I will enjoy success and be praised? Did I truly help the woman who needed me with all my heart? To what extent did I give of myself fully and not be cynical about a given situation? To what extent did I negotiate in good faith?
We face so many hurdles in our jobs, so many factors that deflect our minds, hearts and souls from our purpose. In our world there is so much evil, pettiness, injustice and disappointment. I encounter people with inflated egos – laymen, judges, rabbinical judges and colleagues in the legal profession. I am part of the system; in fact, I am one of them.
Elul and the Days of Awe rein us back onto the path, take us off the highway and lead us to the pretty and pure field. All at once, I see the beauty in the judges and the dayanim; even the legal system which sometimes seems so corrupt and obsolete has spots of light and optimism. Our heart
becomes available to see the beautiful flowers. And there are so many flowers, and so much beauty, pureness and dedication.
Osnat Sharon is a Rabbinical Court Advocate and Civil Attorney at Yad La’isha: The Monica Dennis Goldberg Legal Aid Center and Hotline for Agunot