This Year's Rosh Chodesh Elul is the third since my Beloved Mother Z"L Devorah (Dawn) Nates passed away. She was an incredibly vibrant and generous woman, a true Aishet Chayil. Though her time with us was cut short, she did leave us with many treasures and is in so many ways still here with us, giving. She started and was involved in numerous community projects and through these actions lives on today.
One of the Initiatives that my mother began was the Jewish Women’s National Day of Prayer. The project began in 1994 and stemmed from her firm belief in the power of prayer and in the special gift that women possess to create change and bring about peace.
I quote from my mother’s 1996 appeal for women to pledge a donation to any charity, recite PSALM 27, and then light shabbat candles on the Friday closest to Rosh Chodesh Elul which this year falls out on the 9th of September 2016.
“Our hope is that all Jewish women will stand together united by a common goal to Petition the Almighty to lift us out of the turmoil, strife, sickness and pain that is so unfortunately part and parcel of our daily lives. We need G-d to bless all the inhabitants of our world with wisdom, understanding and true peace so that we can all live together in harmony.
We have linked our day of Prayer to Rosh Chodesh because Hashem granted the first day of every month as a holiday to women. Candle lighting is the unique woman’s mitzvah which gives a woman the opportunity to bring numerous blessings into her home. (Many have the custom that even girls from age 3 light one candle). The giving of charity/Tzedakah and the reciting of Psalms/Tehillim we are taught brings the Redemption closer. We have chosen Psalm 27 because it is the psalm that on Rosh Chodesh Elul, Jews all over the world will usher in the spirit of the Days of Awe, and will continue to recite it until Yom Kippur. Others have the custom to continue on until after Succoth. Elul, is a special time of the year. It is when we begin our “shape up” exercises. We begin our “ re Jew vination” programme in order to be ready for our own Jewish “ spiritual Olympics” , Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Succoth.”
My mother signed off all her newsletters and written correspondence with the words, "With Torah Greetings, Devorah (Dawn) Nates".
My siblings and I would like to continue to support and publicize this project that was so close to our mothers heart.
This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the first Jewish Women’s National Day of Prayer and it's message is no less relevant today.
With many thanks for your participation,
Aviva Fox, Wayne Nates, Ariella Kohn and Yael Tessler
Written by Yael Tessler
For more information about the event, Click HERE