Devar Torah - Re’eh

Friday, 18 August, 2017 - 12:00 pm

Shabbos Mevarchim Elul
by Rabbi Shimon Raihcik

This week is Shabbos Mevarchim Elul. Elul, the last month of the year, is a month of Cheshban HaNefesh, a time that we make a spiritual accounting of all that has transpired in the past year. In business finance one needs to review the books to be eligible for a new line of credit. So too, in Elul we provide Hashem an assurance that we are committed to fulfill His will of learning Torah and doing Mitzvos. Then on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur we ask Hashem to open a new line of credit. 

In order to prepare for our new line of credit, we need to consult our ‘accountant’ to see how well we did with last year’s credit line. This accounting extends throughout the month of Elul which lasts thirty days. Each day of the month numerically corresponds to that day in all of the months from the previous year (e.g. The first Elul corresponds to the first of each month etc.) Beginning with Chai Elul, each day corresponds to an entire month. We ‘balance our books’ with Teshuva U’maisim Tovim in order to merit a good sweet year. 

To make things easier Chassidus teaches us about Melech B’Sadeh and the Yud Gimmel Midos Harachamim. Hashem receives and welcomes each and everyone one of us as we are with a shining countenance and encourages us to approach and come close. 

Therefore, beginning with Shabbos Mevarchim Elul, the last month of the year we begin to put our ‘house in order’ to protect from anything unwanted, and through this everyone will be bentched with a Ksiva Vechasim Tovah, a good g’bentched yohr. 

This avodah is illustrated though the following story. One year, on Simchas Torah the Rebbe Rashab was not ready to begin Hakafos. He called over a business man and asked him about how he conducts his business. The man explained that he takes a loan and uses the money to buy the stock that he sells in the market. After a while he needs an additional loan. In order to qualify for the new loan, he makes payments on the first loan to show the bank that he has good credit. When he begins his payment plan the bank sees his good credit and then gives him a new loan. 

The Rebbe Rashab concluded that so too is this true for us in Tishrei. Tishrei is the new line of credit. We begin our review and payment plan on last year’s loan in Elul. We increase in Teshuva, Torah, Tefilla and Tzedaka. Then Selichos arrives and we continue to increase even more in these areas. So too in Rosh HaShana and Eseres Ymei Teshuva and Sukkos. At the end of Sukkos and we arrive at Hakafos; and the meaning of Hakafos is a loan, we can now seal our new loan and be zocheh to a new good line of credit. At that point the Rebbe went to Hakafos. Hashem in His kindness gives us Elul to make good on our loan.

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