I always find it fitting that our Torah readings for the month of Elul come from Deuteronomy, which is basically Moses reminiscing, looking back on his life, the life of the Hebrew people, and offering insights (albeit, some in the form of threats). This is what we do the entire month of Elul. We look back, we measure, we evaluate and we begin to change in order to build a better future. Many of us like to try and ignore the past, push it out of our heads. We don’t want to deal with mistakes, confront our failings, reopen wounds. Then we come to the month of Elul. Elul reminds us that if we want our future to be different than our past, we have to reflect, no matter how uncomfortable we feel, we need to take a long and hard look at our choices, learn from our mistakes and commit to not making them again. Looking back is not being stuck in the past; it is what ensures that the past remain there, and not follow us into our present.