Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Elul and things are shifting

I have been noticing a very real change in the air if you will, something most definitely is shifting around us. I cannot attribute it to the most welcome fall weather that seems to be meandering in, nor do I think it is just the normal change of the seasons. If it where, one would feel the retreating of the earth as she prepares herself for her winter sleep. No, indeed it feels much deeper, much higher and more intense. It is the month of Elul, the month of Teshuvah (repentance). It is Our King in the fields waiting for us to approach Him.

"Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi explains...with the following metaphor: The king's usual place is in the capital city, in the royal palace. Anyone wishing to approach the king must go through the appropriate channels in the palace bureaucracy and gain the approval of a succession of secretaries and ministers. He must journey to the capital and pass through the many gates, corridors and antechambers that lead to the throne room. His presentation must be meticulously prepared, and he must adhere to an exacting code of dress, speech and mannerism upon entering into the royal presence.

However, there are times when the king comes out to the fields outside the city. At such times, 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.

This gives me chills to even think about. Our Holy King, Mighty King, Ribono Shel Olam, (Master of the Universe) is in the fields there where we toil, there where we live, amidst the dirt and mundane waiting for us. You see, He is there waiting for us. He is not in His Palace demanding the formality that is certainly due Him. He has come to His children to await our company. Our Beloved Father is patiently waiting for us with His arms open wide that we may run to him, repent of our wrongs and serve Him all the more. This is not the time for paralyzing fear! No, be valiant and approach the King with confidence. He will receive you.
This is the time for action!
Learn Torah. If you do not learn Torah, begin. Even the smallest morsel will feed your starving soul. If you do learn, learn more and apply it!
Give tzedakah. A penny from the poorest is as a fortune from the very rich.
Pray! Spend time in prayer, communing with HaKadosh, Barukh Hu. In Ivrit (Hebrew) or in your own tongue, talk to your Creator.
Do not fear! Our King awaits us! Fear not but run to Him now and pour your heart out to Him. He awaits us all, His children, our loving Father, Avienu Malkienu, in the field. Stop what you are doing! Stop the busyness! Hear the cry of the shofar! Hear as it beckons to your soul and run to Him there in the fields.
ELUL= Ani l'dodi v dodi li= I am to my Beloved and my Beloved is to me.