Jeffrey Levine
Blogger, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist

Elul – Opening the Gates

Today is Rosh Chodosh Elul which means one month to Rosh Hashanah. If we thought we lived in an uncertain world last Rosh Hashanah, how much more uncertain is the world today? Who would have imagined the lack of freedom of movement, limited or no Air Travel, Health, and Economic Pandemic, and such much division, violence, and hatred? Our Shuls closed. At I sit here typing these, I want to cry. Who knows what the future holds? One cannot even plan with some certainty, because at any moment you can be in Budid (quarantine).

What will be with our Shuls and davening this Rosh Hashanah?

There is a famous teaching that the Gates are open in the month of Elul. The gates are open, but I am hesitant to go in. How can I open the gate with so much uncertainty?   How can I utilise this opportunity of the month of Elul?

Reb Shlomo speaking “Every time I do a mitzvah every time I do something good, G-d opens the gates for me to do another mitzvah. Why don’t’ I go in? I never do. The Tanakh writes that wicked people are always walking around, always circling, never going in. On the first Shabbos of Elul, we always read Shoftim. “Appoint judges and officers in all your gates.” What is Elul all about? Doing good. G-d is opening all the gates.

I want you to know that the Teshuva of Elul is not Teshuva for sins. That is for the ten days between Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur. In Elul, the important thing is, I am doing Teshuva for all the gates that were open to me and that I didn’t enter.

Let me say something very deep. Can you imagine what kind of gate G-d opened to us on Mt Sinai? The deepest gate in the world. The gate was so wide open, the Gomora says, that there was no longer any death in the world. We could have gone straight into Eretz Yisroel. We could have fixed the entire world. But instead, what did we do? We made the Golden Calf. We said to G-d, we are not interested in Your gates. Gevald! How could we do that? How could we do that to G-d? So, Moshe had to go again to Mt Sinai to re-open all the gates.

In former good days, every city was closed with gates. When they were opened, they blew the shofar. In Elul we blow the shofar to let the world know, to let ourselves know, G-d is opening all the gates, G-d is re-opening all the gates. And we are saying “Appoint judges and officers in all your gates which G-d gave you”

MAY WE BE OPEN TO RECEIVE

“Too often in our lives, we feel we live in a box of cause and effect. We regret the past, feel bound by it and we worry about the future. When we experience God as the Source of Life, as the Melech, we can let go of worry and fear, we can surrender and be present in the holy eternal moment of now. Hashem Melech. We see through illusion. We are not bound to the past. Everything is new. We are new.”  The beautiful words were expressed by Melinda Ribner, a spiritual teacher and student of Reb Shlomo.

So, how we can open the gates? How can we let go of worry and fear and surrender to the things we control our lives? How can we find Inspiration in these troubling times?

As you may have heard Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo, Ohel Shlomo, The Shlomo Carlebach Foundation, and The Moshav have recently launched a new initiative whose main goal is to spread the holy teachings that we were all blessed to receive from Shlomo over the years and share them with the world. Thus far there have been three such evenings on Facebook Live which received exciting positive feedback from among the thousands of spiritual seekers and Chevra around the world that tuned in.

This Sunday evening, there is another Live Event of  Music, stories, and inspiration by his diverse followers. It promises to be an evening of Unity and Inspiration

The Timing of this Event is planned in the Month of Elul, an opportune time for healing Relationships, a month of compassion.  The Event is titled “Reb Shlomo’s Teachings on Teshuva, The Gates of Prayer are Wide Open.

This will take place on בע״ה Sunday August 23, 3 Elul from the hours of 20:00-00:00 Israel time, 1:00-5:00 pm US East coast time, 10:00 am-2:00 pm US Pacific time.

The format that has been successfully used is that each presenter dedicates ten minutes to give over either a Torah, story, or personal experience which they received from Reb Shlomo which is related to this topic. In addition, we will be inviting some of our holy chazzanim to give over Reb Shlomo’s nusach from ימים נוראים.

We would be honored if you would be willing to participate in this upcoming event. Please help get the word out to as many spiritual seekers as possible.

To sign up or join:

https://www.facebook.com/events/3544148542303318/?acontext=%7B%22event_action_history%22%3A[%7B%22mechanism%22%3A%22search_results%22%2C%22surface%22%3A%22search%22%7D]%7D

https://www.facebook.com/yeshivatsimchatshlomo

Further Inspiration

https://www.souldoctorstories.com/single-post/2019/09/01/Parsha-Shoftim-and-Elul

About the Author
Jeffrey is a Blogger, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist (we can only dream) living in Jerusalem. He is a young grandfather has five kids and four grandchildren. Jeffrey provides freelance CFO and Accounting services through www.persofi.com He is looking to spread the message of Ahavat Yisrael and Jewish Unity through the music and stories through www.souldoctorstories.com and blogging.
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