Rosh Chodesh Elul and its connection to Parashat Re'eh

Hashem ‘gives’ us the ability to RE'EH -‘see’ - the correct path to follow, so as to merit to do Teshuva, and to be judged to a good year on the Day of Judgement, HAYOM.

Danny Ginsbourg, | updated: 15:27

Judaism Danny Ginsbourg
Danny Ginsbourg

Rav Pinchas Friedman notes that Ezra the Scribe established that parshat Re’eh is always read either on Rosh Chodesh Ellul-as is the case this year- or Shabbat Mevarchim Rosh Chodesh Ellul.

This, he comments, teaches that there are allusions in our parsha to the month of Ellul.

Indeed,  the hassidic Masters find allusions in the opening psukim:(11:26-28)’ראה: See, I present you today: אנכי נותן לפניכם היום a blessing and a curse; The blessing that you hearken: תשמעו to the commandments of Hashem, your G-d..; And the curse if you do not harken: אם לא תשמעו to the commandments of Hashem your G-d’.

Rav Elimelech of Blazov expounds that these psukim allude to the month of Ellul, which Hashem in His mercy gives us before Rosh Hashana, so that in this month we rectify, and atone for all our transgressions during the year, so that we merit the blessing of כתיבה וחתימה טובה: to be Inscribed and Sealed for a good and blessed New Year, on Rosh Hashana.

This, he says, is alluded to in the word: ‘היום׳: THE Day , which the sages of the Zohar Hakadosh teach, is Rosh Hashana.

And, he continues, the words נותן לפניכם היום, are to be read as: That which I give you- the month of Ellul- before The Day, on which there is either ברכה or קללה- according to your ‘choice’ and preparation:Rosh Hashana.

The Slonimer Rebbe adds: this is why the Torah chose the word ראה: see, which literally does not seem apt, to teach that in the month of Ellul, Hashem ‘gives’ us the ability to ‘see’ the correct path to follow, so as to merit to do Teshuva, and to be judged to a good year on the Day of Judgement.

The Blazover Rebbe notes a beautiful ‘aid’ to this: the Gematria (numerical value) of the opening pasuk: ראה אנכי נתן לפניכם היום ברכה וקללה, is identical to the Gematria of : תקעו בחודש שופר: Sound in this month the Shofar, which our sages established that we sound from the beginning of Ellul, to awaken us to do Teshuva, before the Day of Judgement!

This, he expounds, is alluded to in the words: הברכה אשר תשמעו, והקללה אם לא תשמעו: ‘The blessing if you hearken, and the curse if you do not hearken’: If you hearken to the sounds of the shofar during the month of Ellul, to awaken you to do תשובה, then you will merit the blessing of a כתיבה וחתימה טוב. בראש השנה; but, if you do not hearken to its call, you will be ‘cursed’, as you will not be so blessed.

Further, he concludes, ראה is an acronym for ראש השנה אלול; the Gematria of these three words: אלול ראש השנה, is also the numerical value of: כתיבה וחתימה טובה!

A parting thought from the Kli Yakar: In truth, every day is THE day, as the Torah does not state that Rosh Hashana is the Day of Judgement, so that a person should not deceive himself, and think that he can transgress  all year, and simply atone shortly before THE Day of Judgement.

Rather, he should think that each and every day, Hashem is judging him, as our sages say:(Rosh Hashana 16.)’Man is judged each and every day’.

לרפואת נועם בת זהבה רבקה ורפאל נחום אלימלך רפיאל בן זהבה רבקה, בתוך שאר חולי עמנו.