Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rosh Chodesh Elul - ראש חודש אלול



"The King is in the Field - HaMelech Ba'Sade"

B"H
 

Tomorrow night (Friday / Erev Shabbat) as well as on Shabbat itself and Sunday, we are celebrating the beginning of the new Jewish month ELUL (Rosh Chodesh ELUL). 

With ELUL we are entering the Teshuva period before the upcoming high holidays. This doesn't mean that we are unable to do Teshuva (Return to G - d) throughout the year. Nevertheless, that Elul is the month where we have a direct phone line (connection) to G - d.  

On Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year), G - d is going to judge the entire universe for the next upcoming year 5773: Who is going to live, who is going to die, will we be healthy, who is getting married, will there be war, peace or natural catastrophes … Everything concerning the New Year, G - d is going to decide on Rosh HaShana.  

A few days later, Rosh HaShana is followed by the highest Jewish holiday YOM KIPPUR (Day of Atonement). Whereas G - d judges His whole creation (Jews & Gentiles alike) on Rosh HaShana, the Jews are going to be specially judged on Yom Kippur. Then He is, so to speak, signing His final decision.  

This is one of the differences between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur: Rosh HaShana is a day of judgement for the entire planet. No matter if someone is Jewish or not - Jewish. Yom Kippur, however, is an entirely Jewish holiday because it only concerns the Jews and their final judgement.  

Who then doesn't want to make a good impression before G - d ? 

The month of Elul is a great opportunity for us of doing so. Sephardi Jews already start their Selichot prayers with the beginning of Elul. Ashkenazi Jews only start their Selichot on the Mozzaei Shabbat (Saturday night after Shabbat ends) before Rosh HaShana.  

The month of ELUL is a time of looking back and return. Have we reached our goals during the year ? What mistakes did we make and how can we make everything better in the future ? Where have we failed and what did we accomplish ?  

G - d is not interested in us being the most perfect people in the world. What He is interested in is that we realize our mistakes, regret and follow the intention to make everything better in the future. 

Elul is the big month of Teshuva where we have to realize that there is more to this world than eat, drink, work and sleep. In Elul, Moshe went up to Mount Sinai in order to ask G - d for forgiveness for the Golden Calf. Elul is the month of awareness in connection with the sincere intention of correcting and perfecting oneself.

4 comments:

  1. B'H

    "G - d is not interested in us being the most perfect people in the world. What He is interested in is that we realize our mistakes, regret and follow the intention to make everything better in the future"

    If G-d wanted us to be perfect, He wouild have created us like angels. But the problem with angels is that they cannot improve. He made us human, with failures and imperfections to grant us the opportunities to do our best to please Hiom and be a better person. It's in the human nature to have more satisfaction for something he worked hard to posess than for something that was given to him without any merits. So, we should say "Boruch Hashem" for not having made me perfect when you created me!

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  2. We think mostly of our judgement on Yom Kipur, but it's always good to have in mind that our sentence is not final till Hoshana Raba, so there is still a little extra time after Kipur for teshuva and a possible "change of fate".

    This is from CHABAD :
    " The Midrash tells us that G‑d told Abraham: “If atonement is not granted to your children on Rosh Hashanah, I will grant it on Yom Kippur; if they do not attain atonement on Yom Kippur, it will be given on Hoshana Rabbah."

    It's beautiful, isn't it ?

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  3. B"H

    I heard that there is actually a source saying that the final judgment is on Chanukkah.

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  4. B"H

    @ Moshe

    Great comment. Thanks !

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