Ben Folds sings a song called, “Best Imitation of Myself,” in which he defends his personality and style against an apparent critic who wants him to be someone else. During the bridge he seems to wonder if the critic is right, singing, “Maybe I’m thinking myself in a hole, wondering who I am when I ought to know.” This is probably something we all wonder from time to time, if we are being true to ourselves. A relatively well-known Hasidic teaching has a rabbi named Zusya being asked by his students on his deathbed if he worries God will ask him why he was not more like Moses. He responds, “No, I will worry that God will ask me why I was not more like Zusya” (Martin Buber, Tales of the Hasidim).
The month of Elul gives us the opportunity to explore who we are when we ought to know, so that when the High Holy Days arrive and we come to our Day of Judgment we can easily say, “This year I will be more like me.”