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Waking Up to Repentance

We will now see how we can relate to current world affairs through an awareness of the nature of the sixth millenium in reference to the sefirah of yesod and Joseph, who is the epitome of the rectified covenant

On twenty-third of Elul 5760 (11/9/01), something took place that shook the world, especially in America. The Twin Towers office complex was rooted to the ground by suicide hijackers who directed the hijacked aircrafts to crash into the buildings, leaving thousands of people dead and wounded. The world, previously unaware of the threat posed by radical Islam, was violently awakened on that day to its recognition. The threat had always existed, but now, the world is painfully aware of that threat.

Since everything is through Divine Providence, in particular the Hebrew date on which any event occurs, the first question we must ask is what is the significance of that day. Why did this upheaval, which awakened the whole world from its slumber, occur particularly on that specific date?

Of all the days in the Jewish calendar, Rosh Hashanah in particular is concerned with “waking up.” On Rosh Hashanah, God commanded us to hear the cry of the shofar9, “Awaken, sleepers from your slumber, arise from your sleep!” Throughout the preceding month of Elul we also blow the shofar for the same reason, in order to wake up to the more painful aspects of our lives and correct them. On the twenty-third day of Elul there was a huge “shofar” blown for the whole world to wake up to see something to which it was previously numb, completely unaware. This is the general significance of the month of Elul. However, we will now continue to discover the significance of kaf-gimmel, the twenty-third day of Elul in particular.

The twenty-third day of Elul is significant in two particular ways. The Arizal gives one kabbalistic interpretation while Hassidism offers the second explanation. Both are very closely related to the subject with which we are dealing, “tikun habrit.”


9. shofar, ram’s horn.


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