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August 25, 2017  RSS feed
Rabbinically Speaking

Text: T T T

Season of inventory

By RABBI YOSSI EBER Chabad of West Pasco

As we begin the Jewish month of Elul - the last month of the Jewish calendar year, it is a time to “take inventory” of the 12 months.

It’s never easy to reflect on the past, however this month provides us with special assistance as explained by the founder of the Chabad movement.

Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745-1813) explains the month of Elul with a metaphor: The king’s usual residence is in the royal palace in the capital city. Anyone wishing to approach the king must go through the appropriate channels of the palace bureaucracy and gain the approval of a succession of secretaries and ministers. He must journey to the capital then pass through the many gates, corridors and antechambers that lead to the kings throne room. His presentation must be meticulously prepared, and he must adhere to an exacting code of dress, speech and mannerism. However, there are times when the king leaves the city and comes out to the fields. At this time, anyone can approach him; the king receives them all with a smiling face and a radiant countenance. The peasant behind his plow has access to the king in a manner unavailable to the highest-ranking minister in the royal court when the king is in the palace.

The month of Elul, says Rabbi Schneur Zalman, is when the king is in the field and we all have unfettered access to him.

Let us take advantage of this special time to prepare ourselves for Rosh Hashanah and the coming year.

May all be inscribed and sealed for a happy and healthy year.

The Rabbinically Speaking column is provided as a public service by the Jewish Press. Columns are assigned on a rotating basis by the Pinellas County Board of Rabbis. The views expressed in this guest column are those of the rabbi and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Jewish Press or the Board of Rabbis.

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