Elul אלול – The 6th Hebrew Month

Chodesh Tov to you all!

Most people know that Elul is an acronym for the phrase Ani (א)Ledodi (ל) V'Dodi (ו) Li (ל), a phrase from a verse in Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs). Ani Ledodi V'dodi Li is translated as I am to my beloved as my beloved is to me.

Shir Hashirim is considered a love song metaphor between the Creator and the People of Israel. Therefore this phrase that is the Acronym for the month of Elul is explaining the closeness that is available during this month.

The Kabbalists use a metaphor of the King who is very busy on his daily work and so to make an appointment with him one must go through many secretaries and vice presidents and ministers all who make it difficult for you to speak to the King himself because the King is very busy. The Kabbalists teach that during Elul the King is in the field and is waiting to meet and greet you. You do not have to make an appointment, just walk up to the King and say, I want to do Tshuvah.

The word Elul has a little understood message within it. Elul is spelled אל and ול. El (the first two letters) spell a word that gets translated as either a Name of God or as the connecting word “to”. The Gematria of the last two letters is 36. We know that 36 is a number that connects us to Tzadikim (Righteousness People). This comes from the midrash that teaches about the 36 Concealed Tzadikim. Therefore Elul is the month that allows and supports us in getting closer to God by becoming a Tzadik. The path to becoming a Tzadik is through Tshuvah which cleanses our mistakes.

The month of Elul is about cleansing and especially about Tshuvah. Tshuvah is a little understood word. It is thought by most people to mean rependtance or saying I am sorry. The Mekubalim ask you to ask yourself this question. Does saying I am sorry take away the pain?

The answer is of course no. Yet Tshuvah does take away the pain. How can that be, especially if the pain is - someone accidentally causing a death of someone else. How can that pain ever be taken away?

This is a great secret taught by the Kabbalists and it is truly necessary to learn this lesson well in order to truly do Tshuvah.

Tshuvah actually is the word Tashuv and the letter Hay. Tashuv means to return and the Hay is a metaphor for the physical world within the Tetragramaton (יהוה). Thus Tshuvah – repentance means returning the Hay of the physical world to the unity of the spiritual worlds ( יהו).

Another metaphor which the Kabbalists teach is that when we do a negative action we seperate the Name of God (the Tetragramaton). We seperate the Hay from the Yood Hay Vav of the Tetragramaton. Therefore when you do Tshuvah you are unifying the previous seperation that you made between the physical world and the spiritual worlds! So what, the Mekubalim ask, how does that remove the pain?

Now folllow this closely! God creates the world every instant of every day. That means that every action and interaction that occurs to you and happens to you has only 1 goal – to give pleasure to the creations which is us (The Mekubalim teach that this is the "thought of creation and the meaning behind the Creator creating the world each instant).

This giving of pleasure, has 1 issue. We must earn it by doing the right thing. This means treating other people the way we want to be treated.

This means that each and every time you made a mistake you had an opportunity to reveal light and achieve a correction between you and the people with you. Otherwise you would not be in that physical location, you would be elsewhere being given an opportunity to achieve Tikun with other people. That is what life is about! Making Tikun which acheives the balancing of the universe within the plan of creation.

What the above paragraph means is way back in your history (this lifetime or a previous lifetime) you did an action that caused a/the spark of light to fall into the Klipot (the negative shells). Each time the universe brings you together to elevate that spark of light and to achieve Tikun, you have another opportunity to elevate that spark of light and make Tikun on all of the lifetimes when you did not achieve Tikun. Read this over and over till you understand it. It is an amazing motivator.

Now since you did an action that caused pain to someone instead of doing an action that healed the pain from a previous lifetime or some other form of Tikune, then you missed an opportunity to achieve that correction, that Tikune. When you do Tshuvah, for an action, either from this lifetime or a previous lifetime, you release that spark of light that has become buried in the Klipot, the negative shells. When that spark of light is released it heals the pain of the other person. This includes even the pain from the death of a person.

If the pain is so severe that it seems to be unable to be healed, it just means the spark of light (caught in the Klipah, that you need to elevate as your Tikun) is that strong as to be able to heal even the loss caused by death itelf. Now the world does follow certain physical natural laws like people do not come back to life (yet). So how is a death healed? By having those people who are feeling the loss of that person meet someone who can replace what the dead person meant to them.

What am I saying? A father dies, he leaves a wife and children who feel that loss. The wife remarries to fulfill what the dead person meant to them. The children get a new father who is actually a better person than the previous father. What about the parents of the father who died? How is there pain fulfilled? They will meet a grandchild who reminds them of their son. Not to cause the pain of memory but the pleasure of memory.

All of this depends on you doing Tshuvah – returning the Hay to the Yood Hay Vav. So how does this impact Elul?

Tshuvah can be done at any time of the year. Elul is the month that makes it easier. The universe is supporting the process by giving you the tools of the Virgo the Virgin (Betulah in Hebrew). What are these tools? 1. purity; 2. the ability to perceive details; 3. the difficulty in seeing the whole picture.

Let us learn an additional truth from the gematria of Elul which is 67, the same as the word Binah which translates as “Understanding”. During Elul one becomes imbued with additional understanding of the reasons behind what one did wrong. Without this additional understanding the ability to do Tshuvah would be compromised. One must delve into his own motivation for these wrong actions.

This is because our horror at the true view of us will cause us to truly change ourselves, which changes our motivations, which then causes us to do what is right in the future and God himself will be able to testify “This one can never do this action again “. As Isaiah says in Chapter 6 Verse 10: “...and his heart shall understand and he shall return and be healed."

This is what Elul is all about? Do you want to be healed?

There are simple techniques that will teach you what it is that you did wrong in a previous lifetime as well as what actions you did in this lifetime that also need you to do Tshuvah. There is a prayer that we say in Hebrew, it is called Vedui. It translates as confession. It is written in the plural, “we sinned etc. By meditating on these terms you will receive messages (maybe hints or pictures or flashes) about what it is that you need to do Tshuvah about. Once you have these messages you can use the technique of asking a “Dream Question” to verify it. If you find any difficulty in finding what you need to do, please write me at yeshshem@hotmail.com or call me at 818 – 613 -3457.

  • Here is a link to the vidui prayer in English and hopefully Hebrew as well along with a transliteration.
  • . This will assist you in reaching an answer to the question What do you need to do Tshuvah upon or about?

    Let us learn more about Elul! Let us learn from Abraham and his book of outreach to the people of his generation (which includes us) the Sefer Yetzirah.

    Letters of the month: ר. The word Resh can be spelled different ways. Spelled רש, it means poor. Spelled ריש means Head in Aramaic. Spelled ראש, it means Head in Hebrew. Head also is a metaphor for beginning. The Resh created the planet mercury, which is the fastest planet in the solar system. This is the idea of the virgo that is pure. The purity of the virgin must run quickly to keep ahead of the impurities (men) that pursue her.

    Yood י is the letter that created the constellation that we call Virgo. The word is Betulah in Hebrew. Yood is a word that means Hand. What does the hand have to do with the Virgo. The virgo is pure already, while the hand always is getting dirty and needs to be washed clean to remain pure.

    Together the Resh and the Yood have a gematria of 210 which is the same as the word Redo רדו. Redo means to go down. This is the word used when Abraham and Jacob left the Holy Land and went down to Egypt.

    The concept of a virgin implies a level of purity. When the virgin looses this purity by having relations with a man it is this level of Redo (going down). This is what the Virgo must do in order have children and then raise them to become Tzadikim and Tzadekets. This going down is what we do when we “sin” and make mistakes. The energy of Elul can act like a vaccine against this going down because it allows us to change our past mistakes into the antithesis of going down through Tshuvah. Tshuvah allows us to reveal that light that we had the opportunity to reveal but we did not. And now that it is revealed we go to a higher level even than we could of done the first time. This is the way the spiritual system works and it is why our sages said that a Baal Tshuvah (someone who does Tshuvah comepletely rises to a higher level than even the Tzadik reaches through his efforts in Torah Study.

    There is another lesson in the gematria of the two letters of the month. When the letters are spelled out and added together the gematria is 520. 520 is a perfect 52. 52 times 10. 52 is the Gematria of the Tetragramaton when spelled out with Alephs. In other words 52 is the perfection of the physical world. This is the level of Elul when all of the mistakes are corrected through Tshuvah. This is the level we strive to reach in anticipation of the Judgment of Rosh Hashana on the First 2 days of the month of Tishrai as we will discuss next month.

    Tribe: The tribe of Gad is the Sixth of the Tribes when it comes to giving offerings at the Mishkan dedication. There is much to be learned from the Name Gad about the characteristics of the month of Elul,

  • Nissan Day 6 - Tribe of Gad.
  • so here is the link to the sixth day of the dedication that we have available on our website. I suggest you spend some time during this month checking out the attributes of the name Gad and the Name of the Nasi who gave the dedication and his consciousness of why he gave what he gave. Remember not all of these attributes are positive and with restriction we can correct them and transform them into positive aspects.

    There is a midrash that explains the relationship of Gad to Tshuvah. Gad was born in the month of Capricorn or Tevet. The midrash says that he did some mistake that caused the Mashiach to leave the month of Tevet where the plan of creation said he would be manifested, and to go to the month of Shvat where he will actually be manifested . Nowhere is it written what is his mistake. Yet it must have been a large one because the month of Tevet is one of the 3 most negative months of the year. One can see that Gad needs to do Tshuvah about this mistake, whatever it is.

    Lets look at some of the meanings of the Name Gad for further insights into the month of Elul. These meanings come from the website inner.org. Gad means "camp," as in the verse (the blessing of our father Jacob to his son Gad): "Gad shall organize [lit. camp] camps [army camps], and he shall return with all his camps" (Genesis 49:19). The special talent of Gad is to organize a "company." The name Gad means as well "good fortune." It is truly the "good fortune" of Israel to be G-d's beloved bride, and this "good fortune" reveals itself through the means of our good deeds, especially those which are intended to rectify our blemishes and beautify ourselves, as a bride for her groom.

    The "good fortune" of Gad relates, in Kabbalah, to the thirteen principles of mercy that are revealed in the month of Elul, in order to arouse the soul from its root (its "good fortune") to return to God.

    Gad = 7. Gad was the 7th son to be born to Jacob. Mazal, the more common word for "good fortune" = 77. The middle letter of mazal is zayin = 7. When the two letters gimmel dalet that form the name Gad (= 7) are substituted for the zayin (= 7) of mazal, the word migdal, "tower," is formed. The verse states: "A tower [migdal = 77] of might [oz = 77] is the Name of G-d, into it shall run the tzadik and become exalted." In Kabbalah, the "tower of might" represents the bride, the betulah of Elul, the soul-root and mazal of the Jewish People. The tzadik, the groom, runs, with all of his might, to enter the "tower of might."

    Sense: Action. How is action a sense?: Action acts as a sense when it comes from the internal intuition. When one does an action that one learns is a disconnection the normal action is to despair and possibly feel guilt. This is the strongest tool of the negative side to allow ourselves to fall into the feeling of guilt. To fight this tool of guilt, we need to know that there is nothing that Hashem will not forgive and that there is always the action of Tshuvah that will bring us closer to Hashem and correct what we did wrong. The sense of action also relates to organization and to manage complex systems through our intuition.

    Controller: The Left Hand. God stretched out his left hand and created the earth. Left hand relates to judgment which is where the month of Virgo of Elul demonstrates its use of details in order to effect proper judgment instead of constant and belittling judgment which is the correction of the ego of the Virgo people. It is the left hand that touches the heart. This teaches that all rectified action comes from good intentions and good emotions of the heart.

    The color of the month is Reddish Orange.

    Energy Days:

    While there are no specific Holidays in Elul, Rosh Chodesh and the Day of Creation which is the 25th of Elul are considered High Energy Days. Listed below are the Hilulot/Yartzeit (Day of Joy and Passing) of some of the important personages in Jewish Life.
  • Here is a link to the Hilula of all of the Tzadikim who left in Elul, day by day.
  • Rosh Chodesh Elul – Usually two High Energy Days

    3rd of Elul – Rav Kook – Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel.

    8th of Elul – Rabbi Joseph Karo – writer of the Shulchan Aruch and also a mystic in his own right.

    9th of Elul – Dan Ben Yaacov Avinu – Head of the Tribe

    13th of Elul – Ben Ish Chai

    18th of Elul – Birthday of the Baal Shem Tov and the Hilula of the Maharal of Prague.

    24th of Elul – Chabakuk Hanavi and the Chofetz Chaim

    25th of Elul – First Day of Creation – From what is in the Torah in Genesis, read what was created

    26th of Elul – Second Day of Creation - From what is in the Torah in Genesis, read what was created

    27th of Elul – Third Day of Creation - From what is in the Torah in Genesis, read what was created

    28th of Elul – Shaul Hamelech and his 3 sons including Jonathan (David Hamelech's special friend) Fourth Day of Creation - From what is in the Torah in Genesis, read what was created

    29th of Elul – Fifth Day of Creation - From what is in the Torah in Genesis, read what was created – this is Erev Rosh Hashana which includes some unique rituals including the revocation of Vows.

    This is highly recommended

    Also take advantage all of the Tzadikim that left during this month of Elul. There is someone who left each day and they will relate to the Sephirah of that day. The more you learn about an individual Tzadik the more you can be assisted in your spiritual work by the work that the Tzadik did during his lifetime. He is making him or herself available to you. I hope you will utilize them. All you have to do is light a 25 hour candle in his or her name.

    If you do not know where is your north node, refer to an astrological chart or write to yeshshem@hotmail.com and give us your time, date, and place of birth.

    For people who have their north node in Elul , their lifetime correction is to discern between good and bad. They must leave the dreams and fantasies they accepted last lifetime as a Piscean and move toward the cleansing of past relationships based on forgive and move on.

    For all of us the influence of the Astrological sign of Elul will be to see the trees and not the forest.

    We will be influenced to judge others as we should be judging ourselves.

    If we overcome this astrological influence and actually look inward with true judgment about ourselves and our past actions, we have the opportunity to transform the next six months of our life into a heaven on earth, with a lack of chaos experience in our world.

    Do the work during this month and reap the benefit of a chaos free life.

    One final astrological point. Any male born during Elul has the mistake of an accidental murder within his previous lives. It is important that he use the detail view of the world to make sure he does not repeat that action in this lifetime.

    Please note,

  • Here is a link to some suggested daily meditations for Elul an Tishrai that will help you acheive your goals for Tshuvah and the quality of next year 5772.
  • Chodesh Tov