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NEWS
Elul - For Whom?

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

The remez of blowing the shofar is wake up, wake up from your slumber, ... search your deeds and do teshuvah and remember your Creator...
3

Who needs the month of Elul, anyway, and why is it surrounded with so much attention? Why not let each person make his individual reckoning when he is thus aroused? Why the social pressure?

Chazal instituted the blowing of the shofar; they instituted the recital of "Hashem Ro'i, lo echsor." Fine. We are O.K. with what Chazal tell us, but why the pressure? Why such a loaded atmosphere? Why is it that when someone smiles or cracks a joke, it is tantamount to chillul Shabbos?

Nu, nu!

Elul!

Why?

This question is not raised when a rising and falling siren resounds, rendering hearts aquiver. Or when the wailing of Hatzolah cyclists are hurtling en masse without stop. Men, women and children rush to shelters.

Why the big Elul alarm? Take it easy; walk slowly. Take along a steaming thermos of coffee and find a protected corner until things quiet down. Why the angst?

Why? Because we are in mortal danger and in such a situation, no one asks such questions.

"One dies against his will." The will to live is the strongest motivation; it is the power which activates the full compass of the life struggle. Man struggles for survival beyond his power. Why? Because of the will to live.

Elul is not stress and pressure. It is the will to live!

"For Hashem has heard the kol hana'ar." What is that cry?

The kol hana'ar is the very desire to live. It is the deepest and most candid outcry of man who finds himself in life-threat, a voice pleading for rescue from death, the voice of the youth craving for help, the voice of the will to live.

The kol hana'ar accompanies a man even when he is no longer a boy; it is an inner, pure cry, not tainted with sin.

A person feels the tension of Elul because of the kol hana'ar within him that his life is in danger - and yet he seeks to flee. Like Yonah, "to flee to Tarshish." "A person in this world sins and thinks that he can flee from his Master," comments the Vilna Gaon. He flees because he refuses to think and ask himself: "Wherefore the anxiety?"

"Some people, with regard to death, will see no need to make provisions and mend their ways... And they are comparable to animals..." (Shaarei Teshuva Gateway 2:17).

 

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