Erev Rosh Hashana 5783
The Yamim Noraim are upon us. The period from Rosh Chodesh Elul until Yom Kippur is referred to as the “40 days of Ratson” extraordinary days of closeness to Hashem, corresponding to the period that Moshe Rabbeinu was in Shamayim.
The Bnei Yissaschar says, that in addition to the well known acronym Ani Ledodi Vedodi Li which stands for Elul, there is also a hint in the last letters of these four words, which are all Yudim, together have the numerical value of 40.
He comments that the “ANI” is referring to the essential “I”, the core of the Jew, which is theחלק אלוק ממעל which was imbued into us upon conception. It is this spiritual aspect of man that connects to Hashem as “Dodi Li”. It is therefore incumbent upon us to restore our Neshomas to their original state of purity, as they were at birth. This is a significant task, since every action, thought, word spoken or sight etc. impacts the Soul and engulfs it with layers of often undesirable elements. These need to be peeled off in order to expose the original essential ANI. When this is achieved the connection with Hashem is restored to its original state.
How does one go about this process? The Zohar Hakadosh brings a simple analogy: A chicken in the winter months often becomes covered in mud and dirt from the environment. This can impede its growth and hamper its movement. A discerning farmer will cause it to spread itswings and flap them, thus causing the dirt to fall off. This is much more effective than picking up the chicken and attempting to pluck out the dirt.
This is the method to be employed in order to rid the Neshoma of undesirable excesses. By, so to speak, spreading our wings, shaking off negative traits and elevating ourselves in a significant manner, we recognize who we really are and get back to our spiritual core. This is our task in these special days, in order to achieve closeness to Hashem.
You, who endeavour to educate our brethren to the Torah way of life and help them build themselves and their families, are essentially helping them to maximize their potential as Jews and return to their core.
May Hashem grant you and your families Shana Tova Umevorechet and a כתיבה וחתימה טובה.
The J.M.E. Family