The Month of Elul – How to connect to Life
The name of YHVH that ‘powers up’ the month of Elul is HHVY ההוי and it comes from the last letters of the first four words of the verse (Deuteronomy 6:25)
“וּצְדָקָה, תִּהְיֶה-לָּנוּ: כִּי-נִשְׁמֹר לַעֲשׂוֹת אֶת-כָּל-הַמִּצְוָה הַזֹּאת, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ–כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּנוּ.”
“And it shall be Tzedakah unto us, if we observe to do all this commandment before YHVH our God, as He has commanded us.”
The first word is Tzedakah and it’s an important key to unlock the power of this month in preparation for Rosh Hashanah.
The sages teach us that our work on the day before Shabbat (Friday, the sixth), earns us the fruit/reward on Shabbat (the seventh). Elul is the sixth month (counting from Nisan, Aries) and the aspect of Friday and Yessod. On the seventh month, Yom Kippur and Sukkot, we receive our ‘portion’/’budget’ for the year. A good preparation during the month of Elul will bring ‘Life’ in the year that follows.
That means that the month of Elul is elevated and the heavens are opened for us. Our preparation on the month of Elul, before the judgment day on Rosh Hashanah, is very important.
The portion of Re’eh always falls on the Shabbat before the month of Elul begins. Some years Re’eh falls on the last day of Av and it’s Rosh Chodesh but the actual first day of Elul is the following day. This is an important fact because the energy of this Shabbat should be carried from the month of Av (Leo, אריה) into the month of Elul (Virgo, בתולה).
The portion of Re’eh teaches us the precept of Tzedakah. Maimonides tells us that Tzedakah is one of the most important precepts of the Torah. The portion of Re’eh repeats and teaches different aspects of Tzedakah. The portion ends with the verse (Deuteronomy 16:17)
“אִישׁ, כְּמַתְּנַת יָדוֹ, כְּבִרְכַּת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר נָתַן-לָךְ.”
“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of YHVH, your God which He has given you.”
Teaching us that we need to give from our hearts as a gift because everything we have was given to us as a blessing from YHVH, our God. When we give back with happiness, even from the little we have, we create affinity with the same light that was originally given to us secretly.
When King David had everything ready for the building of the temple he gathered the people and made a prayer to YHVH. He first made connection to the seven Sefirot.
1 Chronicles 29:11
“לְךָ יְהוָה הַגְּדֻלָּה וְהַגְּבוּרָה וְהַתִּפְאֶרֶת, וְהַנֵּצַח וְהַהוֹד, כִּי-כֹל, בַּשָּׁמַיִם וּבָאָרֶץ: לְךָ יְהוָה הַמַּמְלָכָה, וְהַמִּתְנַשֵּׂא לְכֹל לְרֹאשׁ”
“To you, YHVH, is the greatness (Chessed) and the power (Gevurah) and the glory (Tiferet) and the victory (Netzach) and the majesty (Hod), for all (Yessod) that is in the heavens (Zeir Anpin) and in the earth (Malchut) is yours. Yours is the kingdom (Malchut), O YHVH, and you are exalted as head above all.”
1 Chronicle 29:9
“וַיִּשְׂמְחוּ הָעָם, עַל-הִתְנַדְּבָם, כִּי בְּלֵב שָׁלֵם, הִתְנַדְּבוּ לַיהוָה; וְגַם דָּוִיד הַמֶּלֶךְ, שָׂמַח שִׂמְחָה גְדוֹלָה”
“Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with a whole heart they offered willingly to YHVH; and David the king also rejoiced with great joy”
King David continued to say; (29:14)
“וְכִי מִי אֲנִי, וּמִי עַמִּי, כִּי-נַעְצֹר כֹּחַ, לְהִתְנַדֵּב כָּזֹאת: כִּי-מִמְּךָ הַכֹּל, וּמִיָּדְךָ נָתַנּוּ לָךְ”
“But who am I, and what are my people, to stop the force (the given Light) to offer so willingly after this sort (Malchut)? FOR ALL THINGS COME OF YOU, AND FROM YOUR HAND WE HAVE GIVEN TO YOU”
When you share your gifts, you let the force of the Light continue through you keeping you connected to the Tree of Life.
“אפילו עני המתפרנס מן הצדקה יעשה צדקה”.
The Talmud says that even a poor person who received Tzedakah should give Tzedaka himself.
Tzedakah is connection to life and it includes everyone. Some people say “When I have the money, I’ll give”. We learn from the Torah that this approach is stupid because if they don’t give they can not open channels of Life and sustenance for themselves. God even asks us to test him in this.
The month of Elul is a month of spiritual cleansing and the Torah portion of Re’eh directs us to keep our faith in YHVH and not people, give Maaser (10-20%) and Tzedakah (unlimited giving from the heart) to remove all aspects of death and negativity from our lives.
When we clear ‘death’ from our vessels we allow the Light of life to come in and for that we follow the suggestion of the kabbalists to read the entire Tikunei Zohar during the 40 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul and Yom Kippur.
The Unity Zohar includes a section dedicated to the Tikunei Zohar (Unity Tikunim) where you can read it together with other people in the world especially during this month. Join the reading of Tikunei Zohar cycle and keep reading few minutes everyday until Yom Kippur. It’s the best tool to cleanse the soul.
The study of Tikunei Zohar is available on the Daily Zohar from DZ #1 through DZ 1069. You can spend some time during this month to go through some of these studies.
Coming to Rosh Hashanah without preparation on the month of Elul is not Kabbalistic. Coming to Rosh Hashanah just to hear the Shofar is good only if you are pure in heart and all your actions.
Our holidays and everything we do is based on the Holy Torah. The Holy Zohar reveals and teaches us the Holy Torah. There’s no Light without a vessel. Elul is the preparation of the vessel for the Light of Life for the next year and we do it with Tzedaka and Zohar.
Please ask questions.
With love and Chodesh Tov to all.
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