6th of Elul: The Wool of Elul
The Wool of Elul
There are four new years: the first of Elul is the new year for animals. Sheep conceive in Nisan and give birth in Elul, and so it is fitting that their New Year is on the first of Elul.
Sheep enrich their owners. Wool is the most valuable part of a sheep, from which the priestly garments were woven. The first sheared wool that every Jew must give to the priest, whether in or out of Israel, with or without a Temple, applies only to sheep, but not to sacrificial animals.
I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse.
Wool represents Abel’s sacrifice; linen or flax seeds, from Cain: the law of shatnes forbids them to mingle. Seeing that both wicked and good developed out of the same root is proof we have but One Creator.
One bathes and cuts their hair on the eve of Rosh Hashanah.
On Rosh Hashanah all those who have come into the world pass before You like sheep. As a shepherd herds their flock, directing their sheep to pass under their staff, so too shall You pass, count and record the souls of all living, and decree a limit to each person’s days, and inscribe their living judgment.
God is my shepherd; I shall not want. God makes me lie down in green pastures… Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
Nathan Alfred LBC 2008 Vilnius and Jerusalem
 mRosh Hashanah 1.1  bRosh Hashanah 8a  bChullin 84b  bChullin 137a  Deuteronomy 18.4  mChullin 11.1  Deuteronomy 30.19  Midrash Tanhuma Bereishit 9.1  Leviticus 19.19 & Deuteronomy 22.11  Rabbeinu Bahya, Bereshit 4.2  Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayim 581  mRosh Hashanah 1.2  Unetaneh Tokef prayer  Psalm 23.1-2,4  Deuteronomy 30.19