THEMES of Featured Chasidic Masters Articles

Elul 18: Baal Shem Tov Day
The birthday of the 'Besht' is a time to learn his teachings
Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov was born on the eighteenth day of the month of Elul, in 1698. This was also the day that he revealed the Chassidic movement, on his 36th birthday in 1734, as well as being the day starting the final count-down to Rosh Hashanah.
Hear Us, Forgive Us
Only G-d can truly repair the effects of transgression.
On the Saturday night preceding Rosh Hashanah at midnight, Ashkenazic Jewry begins to recite the Selichot prayers. There are many different terms used to express forgiveness in the Torah and Rabbinic liturgy. "Selicha" means complete forgiveness so that there remains absolutely no trace of the sin. This can be granted only by G-d.
Mercy Month
Mercy Month
Elul is a time when everyone has access to supernal benevolence.
There are two ways in which we can have contact with G‑dliness: one is to experience divine illumination as it descends from above; the other is to reach G‑dliness from where we are.

The month of Elul is a time of preparation when we examine ourselves, regret our misdeeds and resolve to improve in order to reach a level so that, on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, G‑dly revelation can descend to us.
The Resplendent Rose
By uniting with the entirety of the Jewish nation, we are surely judged favorably
The advice for one who wants to emerge meritorious on Rosh Hashanah is to unite himself with the entirety of the Jewish People as a whole.

When one humbles oneself to include all Jews into his reality, discovering that ever-glowing spark in his soul - the resplendent rose in which no malignancy can ever take root - G‑d will surely bind with us and we will experience the ultimate joy and peace.
The Jewish Month of Elul: I-My Beloved-Me
Every month has its own unique energy and power. Elul is the month of love and relationships.
In this month of Elul we have the opportunity to create, mend and renew relationships. A true relationship is total fusion of two distinct individuals, with different bodies and different souls. Neither is compromised or diminished. A transcendent power enables the fusion; but it also manifests in the individual personalities: as they remain intact they also recognize on their own individual terms that love — "I am to my beloved and my beloved to me" — is the ultimate expression of individuality.
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