Eleven years ago I purchased a guided journal for meditation and reflection during Elul and the first ten days of Tishrei. I've begun that journal three times in the past 11 years, generally running out of steam after 7 to 10 days into the project. This year, I'm going to try to work through the project, using my blog.
In Judaism faith and practices are inextricably intertwined. One important expression of that in Judaism is tikkun olam -- the obligation to engage in repairing the world, making it a better place. Faith and practices are mutually reinforcing, through practice we renew faith.
There are many kinds of practice, some focused inwardly heshbon hanefesh to make an accounting of the soul and prepare us for the outward practice. It is this type of practice we focus on in Elul.
During Elul it is traditional to recite and consider Psalm 27.
The Lord is my light and my help;
whom should I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life,
whom should I dread?
note: all quotes are from the TANAK translated and published by The Jewish Publication Society in 1999 (5759).
I foolishly thought that once I got tenure and had security in my livelihood that my fear reactions would subside. But fear had become a habit, a habit that I need to work to eradicate.