What Do I Truly Want to Accomplish in Life? [CURRENTLY NOT ON SITE]
Kabbalah teaches that the numerical value of Elul (67) is equal to that of "understanding" (בינה). The month of Elul, the final month of the year, brings with it new and deeper understanding with regard to all the events of the passing year-what really happened and why-and of their consequences for the coming year.
"One for a Burnt Offering and one for a Sin-Offering"
One of the more mysterious allusions to the month of Elul in the Torah is found in the initials of the words "
One for a burnt offering and one for a sin offering" (Leviticus 5:7 and elsewhere), which spell "Elul."
And so we stand once again on the brink of Elul, on the doorstep of Rosh Hashanah and plan to go through the motions needed, but how many of us still believe that we can really change? How many of us really hope to fix our relationship with our spouse, our relationship with our children, and most important of all, our relationship with the Almighty? Sometimes it seems that the path to change is lined with red lights as far as the eye can see.
In the part of the Zohar called Ra’aya Meheimna, Moses’ soul root reveals Torah secrets to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his students. The Ra’aya Meheimnamainly discusses the inner mysteries of the Torah’s commandments.
Interestingly, of all the seventy-four mitzvot enumerated in Parashat Ki-Teitzei, the principal commandment that is discussed in Ra’aya Meheimna on this parashah is the sin of a man who falsely claims that his bride was not a virgin. The concluding phrase that appears in the Torah is “for he has defamed a virgin of Israel.”
Many of the problems that we encounter as individuals and as a society today are rooted in the loss of a sincere and straightforward belief in G-d. On the one hand, the modern individual is full of cynicism and contempt for anyone who still holds on to his innocence. On the other hand, the same modern person is finding himself more and more drawn to various forms of witchcraft, magic, alternative remedies, psychic readings, etc., all with the hope of finding some comfort, solace, and security from life’s difficulties and infirmities.
Elul and Returning to a virgin state [PDF Printable Page]