hey kids, the month of elul is here! it’s time to talk about how the “king is in the field” and how now is a great time to offer supplications and better our act and come closer to Hashem and…what? whats that look for?….ohhh, i get it. what am i talking about, right? i mean, elul is supposed to be the beginning of the 40 day period of cleansing and purification that culminates with yom kippur, but its waaay too late to tell ppl about those 40 days now.
it’s also too late to tell ppl to prepare for the last shabbat of the old year which has the power to rectify all past shabbats.
heck, it’s even too late to tell ppl about slichot week. i mean, two days have passed already.
so really, whats the point about choosing now to talk about elul with rosh hashana less than a week away? elul is pretty much done.
and thats my point.
that it isnt too late. that it never is. the teshuva bus is still at the bus stop and accepting passengers. and hey, you may not get the seat you wanted, but you can still get on until rosh hashana comes around. [and besides, it’ll be stuck at the light for another ten days after that, so if you’re lucky you still might be able to get on].
its not important that you use all the days of elul, but that you make the most of the days of elul that you do use. after all, do you really think 29 days of elul in lackluster acknowledgment trumps two or three elul days of actual genuine introspection? not really.
so forget that you’ve missed more than half the month, dont wallow and drown in all the horrible things you might’ve done during the year and definitely dont think you’ve been so far gone this past year that whats the point. its not rosh hashana yet, and more importantly, you’re not dead yet.
so lets go.
and on a note for everyone else who’s been on the elul ball and may be feeling a little bit cocky as they look at the late-comers and stragglers, think about this: chazal say that in elul, Hashem is close to us as if a king were walking through his field and easily accessible to the peasants [or to use a modern analogy, the ceo is wandering the cubicles, accesible to all his employees]. if our prayers and supplications are that much closer during this time, how much moreso noticeable are the transgressions we might’ve committed during this time?
perhaps we all might be needing to play catch up in these last few days.
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