Question: The annual cycle of the Jewish holidays symbolizes the series of states through which a person passes on his way toward connection and unification, and this is the goal of the evolution of the entire human species. Every holiday represents a particular stage on the way toward unification.
Why does this entire cycle finish in the month of Elul where we summarize the results of what we went through and attained, and judge ourselves?
Answer: Israel means Yashar-El (Straight to God), meaning a desire directed straight toward the higher force of nature. The Creator is nature, and, so, what is being spoken about here is our balance with nature. There was a time when Abraham discovered that this is precisely the goal of human evolution that we must reach. That group of students that he gathered around him in ancient Babylon and brought to the land of Canaan eventually became the people of Israel.
This was a community of people that defined the attainment of equivalence of form with the higher power as the goal. The higher power of nature is the power of bestowal and love. This is what Abraham taught those Babylonians who followed him: love of one another, bestowal, and benevolence. Benevolence is the original and primordial characteristic of Abraham.
During his investigations, Abraham discovered the goal of the existence of the human species, which is to reveal the love between all people or, at least at first, among some of them. Thanks to relationships like these, they attained similarities between them: equality and conformity to nature, to its inner power called the Creator.
Nature is based upon a single force that connects all parts of creation together, these being the parts of the still, vegetative, animate, and speaking. All of them are included in a single system that connects all of the elements together in general harmony and working together.
Just like a working cell of our body inside which there is a whole world, a countless number of mutually connected elements—like genes, bacteria, and whatever might be there—but everything is found in a general harmony. If there is no harmony, then this is a disease.
All of nature is like a cell; it is a single, closed, integral, global system, and is absolutely connected. There are no parts in it that could operate independently of the others and develop separately from them. All development is mutually connected and precisely defined.
Lately, science is discovering how much we lack free choice and that everything is determined by genes, hormones, and combinations of chemicals and various bacteria. What I will do depends only upon this—which decisions I will accept, to whom I will be attracted, and who I will avoid.
We naively think that we have free choice, yet we don’t. We only obediently carry out the commands of nature. A person is found within nature, and all of his development is determined through a combination of the internal forces within him. He also obeys and blindly follows his instincts like animals.
By what means is a person ready to influence his development? First of all, we must understand that nature has only one law, and it is general unity. This law connects together the parts of nature into a single system, except for one part, which is the human being.
Humanity, ultimately must also reach that same connection and attain balance with all the parts of nature. Yet this is as a result of blows and pressure through suffering and troubles during thousands of years of evolution. This has cost us a multitude of suffering and pain.
After all, we know how nature is ready to push us. For thousands of years, human society has advanced and lived as if in a wild jungle where one devours the other. Yet, at some stage of development, we suddenly say to ourselves, “Enough!”
This means that feelings and intelligence are discovered in us at such a level that we begin to think and wonder about the reason for our endless torment. For what are we compelled to suffer? What useful conclusions can be derived from these sufferings? Who enjoys our life? To whom can we give pleasure?
These questions pop up in our minds and hearts by themselves. From the blows and the pain, we begin to ask, “What does this mean?” We already have gone through the first and second world wars. How much more is it possible to endure? Today, the world is found on the threshold of a third world war. We already have discussed this quite openly.
This is a life under the conditions of terror. There are terrible problems, a feeling of powerlessness. Half of the world throws surplus products in the trash, whereas the other half is dying of starvation. The humanity of today possesses such immense powers and possibilities, but look at what we do with these immense abilities and potential.
We are compelled to stop here and summarize, to judge ourselves. The month of Elul represents this repentance. Following this, we receive a kind of understanding and knowledge. We become a little wiser. The Ohr Hochma (Light of Wisdom) appears in us, saying to us, “You are suffering, but it is possible not to suffer. It is up to you only to understand from where suffering comes to you. Then you will know how to be released from it.”
All of these questions are awakened in us, and call for a search and investigation of the cause for suffering. They are awakened as a result of the unique illumination of the understanding in our heart and mind that is called Elul. The word “Elul “is an acronym for “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine,” Ani Ledodi Vedodi Li, (Song of Songs 6:3).
“My beloved” is that immense system of nature that develops us. We receive a special sign from it, experience unique feelings and mental insight that makes it possible for us to understand what the system of nature wants from us, what it is thinking about, and what it demands. The entire general system of creation is called the Creator, or nature, which is the same thing.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 9/14/14