Elul, the month in which we do our final preparations before the yom hadin, is upon us. It is the time when we look to rectify our imperfections and seek to get closer to Hashem. We have all been told that in times of old, just the mere mention of the word “Elul” on Shabbos
Mevarchim would cause so much trepidation that people would literally faint.
Elul is the time period before Rosh Hashanah when we accept and coronate Hashem as our Melech. Similarly, the time before the geulah will be an “Elul,” allowing us to prepare for the geulah, when Hashem will become the accepted king of the entire world. Harav Yeruchem Levovitz, zt”l, the Mirrer mashgiach, said that during this time before the geula, we will come to the realization that Hashem is the only one on Whom we can rely. Only then will we merit the coming of the geulah.
In recent weeks there have been so many incidents of anti-Semitism. Shuls around the world are under attack, and individual acts of violence are in every city. Large violent protests have swept across Europe, with little decry. Even American politicians have been speaking anti-Semitically and virtually nothing is done about it.
Around the world and in America many people accuse the Jews and Israel for acting cruel towards the peaceful residents of Gaza and the peaceful “Palestinians” (more accurately called Jordanians). The world is ignorant of the truth, and to the extent that one has to question if it is deliberate.
Sometimes a picture can be worth more than a thousand words. I recall seeing a cartoon that summed up the issue the world has with Israel. The cartoon depicted Netanyahu sitting at a table with a Hamas terrorist and John Kerry, the great negotiator, in between them. The terrorist was holding a paper that read “Charter: Kill all Jews.” The caption that was coming from Kerry to Netanyahu was, “Can’t you meet him halfway?” We are negotiating with people whose entire objective is to kill us. The world of sheker doesn’t see it that way. Instead they want to try Israel for war crimes.
Most of us were not around before the last World War began, but from what we know it shared many shocking similarities with the events occurring right now. Who wouldn’t have done anything in their power to prevent the Holocaust? Times are changing fast. It is in our power to end our tzaros and bring the geulah to its final stage.
One thing that we can all do is interpret the news accurately. Every time we hear of a tragedy, we need to look at it in perspective: this occurred because Hashem is telling us something. Often the message is not only on a personal level, but on a communal level. For example, when we hear that Hamas has made a subway system of tunnels from Gaza to Israel while the Israeli Army and Secret Service were completely unaware, one of the messages that Hashem is sending to us is that we cannot put our trust in anyone but Him. This is not to diminish the need for an army in the slightest. On the contrary, we are not on the level to not perform the highest level of hishtadlus. However, it is crucial not to lose focus of what force actually decides who wins battles and wars. What force grants one side victorious over the other.
Our merciful father in heaven, who is while He has hidden is face in galus, still waits for his children to realize that it is He who controls everything. Every attack, every anti-Semitic assault and incident, Hashem controls it all, and they are done for a purpose.
During Elul we are told that Hashem makes Himself more available, so to speak, he is closer to us and it is easier for us to call out to him. We should utilize this opportune time to daven to Hashem to end our tzaros and deliver the final geula.
May we be zocheh to hear besuros tovos and to a gmar chasimah tovah, amen.