Friday, August 13, 2010

Chodesh Elul - Noam Elimelech

From the upcoming Yalkut Noam Elimelech on Moadim

Animal Intelligence –

On the first of Elul is the Rosh HaShana for the animal tithe. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shimon say it is on the first of Tishrei. (Rosh HaShanah 2a)

Our master and teacher the righteous Tzadik Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk explained this Gemarra according to the manner of Remez using hints. The Zohar teaches us that the letter yud hints at the tithe (which is a tenth) which hints at the attribute of fear of Heaven. (See Zohar Parshas Naso 122b) The first opinion in the Mishnah is that whoever acts all year long like a fool and only wakes up on the first of Elul to repent and fear Hashem is acting like an animal that has no intelligence. This is the meaning of "On the first Elul is the RoshHaShana for the animal tithe, only a person who has animal intelligence wakes up so late to start repenting, since a person with human intellect should fear Hashem all year long. However the second opinion held by both R. Elazar and R. Shimon is that even someone who wakes up in Elul is still one of human intelligence, however someone who only waits till the first of Tishrei to wake up on Rosh HaShanah when the entire world is being judged, then he has only animal intelligence since we would need at least thirty days in advance to prepare! The words of the wise find favor. (Avodas Yisroel Parshas Re'eh sv Aser)

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