1) The dominant spiritual theme of the month of Elul is the tikkun habrit, the tikkun for the abuse of the Holy Covenant. A person who achieves this will find his true partner in life, a partner who will help him in his aspirations rather than fight against him constantly (Likutey Moharan II, 87. See also Likutey Moharan I, 6 for a discussion of the spiritual meaning of Elul.).

2) Elul is a specially favorable time to attain Da'at, knowledge of God. A person can come to know and understand what he did not know before. New clothes are fashioned for his soul and he is released from all troubles (21).

3) Elul is the time to `circumcise the foreskin of the heart' (cf. Deuteronomy 10:16). Only then does a person have the sensitivity to feel real pain in his heart over the sins he has committed. His sensitivity will become so acute that the very hearts of all the drops of seed he cast away will also feel the pain, no matter where they may have fallen. They will all rise up in a great commotion and also return to God (141).

4) Elul is the time most suited to teshuvah, the return to God. It is a period of Divine favor, because it was at this time that Moses went up to receive the second tablets and opened a wide path towards God. The key to this path is to understand that God is present in every place and every situation. No matter how far you may have fallen, God is with you there just as much as He is present in the heights of the universe. In fact it is equally important to remember that He is present in the heights, because there are times when a man rises -- for example if he becomes wealthy and then forgets about God. There are even cases of people who have climbed to very high levels of religious devotion only to turn into atheists in the end. You should pray to God not to let you come to any harm as you draw closer to Him. On the other hand, no matter how low you may have fallen, even to the lowest of levels, even to the ten Crowns of Impurity themselves, you must still bind yourself to God from there. Because His dominion extends over everything (Likutey Moharan II, 82).

Online English translation of Likutey Etzot
A compendium of Rabbi Nachman's practical teachings on spiritual growth and devotion.
© AZAMRA INSTITUTE 5766 / 2006