Old readers will have met this idea before, but for those who are new on the Jenscene, I'll offer it again.
It's Ellul, Month of Repentance, and in the run-up to the High Holy Days, the Days of Awe, the Solemn Judgement - temples start thinking "Call the sofer! We'd better get the Torahs in shape for Rosh haShana."
So during Ellul, soferim get very tired because they're doing a lot of last-minute Torah fixing.
Me personally, I find repair work to be a lot more taxing than writing from scratch. I can write all day quite happily, but repairing all day leaves me wilting, exhausted, and consuming quite startling amounts of chocolate. It's a physical strain and it's a mental strain; more of the latter than the former.
When you write, you sit down and words flow, letter after letter, and fill the page slowly but surely. Sure, you have to concentrate, but you're going with the stream. When you repair, you have to focus in on every single letter, one after the other, and examine it minutely for potential problems, since even one broken letter invalidates the sefer Torah - and there are 304805 of them. It's intense, intense work.
Well, it occurs to me that this is a metaphor for Life. Merrily going along writing (or living, as it might be) is relatively simple, although you don't necessarily know what it's going to look like in twenty years' time - but if your job is to go through from one end to the other, find every little thing which isn't right, and repair it, well, that's a whole lot harder.
Nonetheless, the message of the season is precisely that - check things over, find the bits which are broken, and repair them.
But start doing it in good time, and bring plenty of chocolate.
Cross-posted to Jewschool
(playing with the big kids now).