One of my favorite places in Jerusalem is Hezekiah's Tunnel. It is a tunnel that was dug underneath the City of David just outside the Old City walls. Its name comes from the story of its origin, namely that it dates from the reign of Hezekiah of Judah (late 8th and early 7th century BCE). According to 2 Chronicles 32, by closing off the sources of water outside of the city and diverting the spring water through the tunnel into the city, King Hezekiah assured that Jerusalem would have water during a siege by the Assyrians.
According to an inscription found in the tunnel, the 533 meter tunnel was excavated by two teams, one starting at each end and then meeting in the middle. "And this is the way that the tunnel was cut through: Each man toward his fellow, and while there were still three cubits to be cut through, there was heard the sound of a man calling to his fellow, and there was an overlap in the rock on the right and on the left. And when the tunnel was driven through, the quarrymen hewed the rock, each man toward his fellow, axe against axe, and the water flowed from the spring toward the reservoir for 1200 cubits…"
Along with the amazing technological accomplishment of creating such a tunnel, I think there is a wonderful message for us during Elul. Sometimes we need to cut through a lot of hard stuff to get to a point when and where two sides can come together. Hezekiah's Tunnel is dark, cold, and wet, with some twists and turns. But, when two sides are committed to the effort, it can be life saving.
What relationship of yours needs to be cut through and are you willing to pick up a hammer?