Hillel Communications.


Elul 11: Secrecy

by Hillel News |Aug 26, 2015|Comments

First Blast: Text

יַסְתִּרֵנִי בְּסֵתֶר אָהֳלוֹ

He hides me in the secrecy of His tent


Second Blast: Commentary

This verse reflects a transformation in the concept of secrecy (סֵתֶר , seter) in the Bible. In earlier books, secrecy generally has a negative connotation as a condition that allows for idolatry or other unsavory acts (Deuteronomy 13:7; 27:15). Yet here, and elsewhere in Psalms (31:21; 61:5), secrecy gains a positive connotation as Divine protection from enemies. Secrecy allows us to do things we cannot accomplish openly—for better and for worse.


Third Blast: Practice

“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”- Basketball coach John Wooden.

During the Al Chet confession during Yom Kippur, we ask for forgiveness for those sins we commit in secret. We all do things we’re not proud of when we think no one is looking, but one of the messages of the High Holidays is that ultimately Someone is looking. Identify one such secret behavior that you’d like to work on in the coming year.


Back to Top

  • Elul
  • Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Experience
  • 2015

comments powered by Disqus