Welcome to the month of Elul. This last month of the Jewish calendar marks the King being in the fields. He is close, wanting us to connect and cleave to Him.
The name of the month itself reveals this mysterious attribute of HaShem to us, as Elul (אלול) stands for א Ani ל L’Dodi ו V’Dodi ל Li, I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. HaKadosh Baruch Hu is waiting for us to come to Him.
This concept sounds very counterintuitive. After all, isn’t Elul about selichos and preparing for judgement? We need to start hitting tachanun hard, repenting of all of our sins, forgiving others, and seeking forgiveness from others. After all, Rosh Hashanah, the head of the year, is when the King is on the throne and judging us. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, only ten days later, is when we petition HaShem like angels to show how pure we can be to warrant a favorable ruling for this next year. So why this intimacy right before judgement?
All of the attributes, the sefiros, of HaShem work in unity and harmony. To rule with only Din or Gevurah is an imbalance and now how the Creator runs the world. This would bring devastation and drought. While this seems like what we have seen over the past year and a half now, this is not how HaShem works. HaShem is not a hateful “sky daddy” that wants to smite us for our sins (that’s a different religion). On the contrary, HaShem loves us and wants to connect with us. It is the reason for our existence, our purpose in life.
David HaMelech said that closeness to HaShem is his good. Deveikus, the cleaving, is the purpose of it all. If that’s what works for him, then it certainly works for us, the author of Bilvavi Mishkan Evneh argues. And the author is right.
Yiddishkeit doesn’t teach angry G-d that wants us to burn or drown. It’s all a mashal to reveal how great G-d is. The fear of G-d should not be one of terror, but one of reverence. For a King. Who happens to be in the fields, right now, looking to embrace you with love.
For this Elul, I challenge your to view HaShem differently. He loves you. He created you. He wants you. This is not a time of judgement. This is a time of embrace. The King is in the fields. So go to Him.
How does one start with this? Join me this Elul and listen my podcast, where I will be discussing how to bring oneself to closeness, deveikus, to HaShem. I recommend starting with the first in the series, Episode 131, which discusses the beginning of deveikus.
Now is the time to draw closer than before and commit oneself fully to, as the Tehillim says, live under the shelter of His wings.
After all, Rosh Hashanah is coming, and so is judgement. But the King is in the fields now, to connect with us, so that our period of judgement can be a favorable one rooted in intimacy, showing us where we can grow, instead of a strained one rooted in separation, which only shows us how far we missed the mark.
Also, please feel free to download the below phone lock screen and background images to remind you of what’s most important…