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August 19 • 2010
ith the simple connection
of the Internet, Jewels of
Elul Volume VI: The Art
of Beginning Again brings home the
Jewish tradition of dedicating the
Hebrew month of Elul to study and
preparation for the High Holidays.
One entry from a collection of
stories and anecdotes about "the art
of beginning again" will be brought
to subscribers by e-mail each day
throughout Elul, which ends on
Wednesday, Sept. 8.
The "jewels," also posted on the
Jewels of Elul website, come from an
eclectic group including politicians,
actors, clergy persons and athletes,
both Jewish and non-Jewish. The "jew-
els" also have been compiled into a
booklet, published by recording artist
Craig Taubman and Craig (I\T Co. , with
a dedication from Rabbi David Wolpe
of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. The
booklets are available for a donation,
made to Beit T'Shuvah, a Los Angeles
residential drug treatment facility.
This year's contributors range from
recording artist Lady Gaga, boxer
Yuri Foreman and philanthropist
Eli Broad to Natan Sharansky, Rabbi
Dr. Abraham Twerski and former
Detroiter Rabbi Marla Feldman, direc-
tor of development at the Union for
Reform Judaism in New York.
This year's "jewels" include life les-
sons of strength, courage and choices
shared by Rabbi Naomi Levy, founder
and spiritual leader of Nashuva, a
Jewish outreach organization in Los
Angeles, as learned from her daughter,
Noa, who has physical disabilities.
Jeremy Ben-Ami, president and
founder of J Street, writes of begin-
ning anew in terms of perseverance,
The month of Elul is
dedicated to study,
preparation for the
Days of Awe.
taking chances and making positive
"The word 'beginning' is generally
associated with 'new' and 'new' is often
linked to 'young'," Taubman said. "We
turn to Botox, plastic surgery, pills,
potions and infomercials in search
of the fountain of youth. Younger is
better, stronger, more valued. This
bothers me. Where is our thirst for
wisdom, our respect for tradition?
How can we have a future if we have
no regard for the past?"
And so he says this year's "jewels"
are about beginnings, but are not
about the new and the young.
"They are about the challenge and
courage and triumph of attempting
fresh starts at any age Taubman said.
"They are about learning from
experience to improve ourselves. They
are about looking honestly at where
we belong in the great continuum of
life and deciding how to make the
best contribution we can. They are
about acknowledging where we come
from, respecting where we are, and
having faith that our future is a bless-
ing waiting to unfold:'
To sign up for Jewels of Elul
VI daily e-mails or to make a
donation to receive a Jewels
book, go to www.jewelsofelul.
corn or call (818) 760-1077.