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The Secret of Elul

By Tzvi Fishman
9/11/2011, 9:09 AM

If today’s blog helps only one person, it has great value. If it helps two, all the better. If it helps everyone, great. According to the secrets of Torah, when our Sages commented: “There is not a righteous man who does good and does not sin,” they were referring to mishaps which occur in the course of one’s sexual life.

According to Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the month of Elul is the most appropriate time to rectify sexual transgression. We have posted his writings regarding the secrets of Elul on our website, and readers who appreciate the secrets of Torah are invited to look there.

In this week’s Torah portion, it is written: “If there be among you any man who is not clean because of a spilling of semen at night, then he shall go outside of the camp….” (Devarim, 23:11). The spilling of semen in vain (keri or zera l”batilla) is one of the most serious transgressions in the Torah (Shulchan Oruch, Even HaEzer 23:2; Talmud Niddah 13A). It can come about when a man doesn’t guard his thoughts and his eyes; or via pre-marital sex, masturbation, homosexuality, and all other sexual transgressions. It can even occur during permitted relations with one’s wife. For this reason, it is wise to review the laws of these all-important matters, which are known as blemishes to the “Yesod,” the sefirah which is called the “foundation,” and also known as blemishes to the Brit between G-d and the Jewish People.

As the Torah informs us, the success and security of the Jewish People depends on the holiness of our camp. The Shechinah does not rest in a place of sexual transgression and impurity (Devarim, 23:15).  

Fortunately, mistakes in this area can be rectified by heartfelt t’shuva. Rabbi Nachman formulated the famous “Tikun HaKlalli” to assist people from these mishaps. The selichot prayers that Sefardi Jews are reciting this month are filled with this matter, as is the “Tefilla Zaka” which Ashkenazim recite just before Yom Kippur. In fact, the main focus of our Yom Kippur atonement is “Tikun HaBrit.” Many other useful remedies are outlined in the pamphlet on “Shmirat HaBrit” which you can download from our website.

In this age, when we are surrounded by temptations everywhere, and where the passage to transgression is just a click of the mouse away, the wise person will take heed to study these matters and turn away from wrongdoing, for the sake of his wellbeing and health, the wellbeing of his family, and the wellbeing of Am Yisrael.

Shavuah tov! מלאךחופרגולשמנפנף