The Jewish Eye
Elul Is More Terrifying Than A Bear!
Reb Yisroel Salanter would live in a state of sheer terror during Elul. Someone once asked him what is so scary about Elul? Is it a bear? Reb Yisroel Salanter answered that it is scarier than a bear. The mighty Dovid HaMelech said (Shmuel Aleph 17:36) that he killed both the bear and the lion. Neither of these terrifying animals scared him. Yet in Tehilim he wrote "Somar MiPachdecha Bisari U'Mimishpatecha Yareisi"; my skin gets goose bumps from fear of You and I am scared of your judgement. (Sichos Moreinu Hagaon Rav Shimshon Pincus)
Rav Chaim Volozhin once got up to speak about Rosh Hashana. He began saying the pasuk Somar MiPachedecha Bisari and he fainted on the floor. He was overcome with such fear and trepidation that he couldn't go on. He didn't have to. Anyone who heard his "drasha" lived a different Elul for the rest of his life.
The great Tzaddik Dovid HaMelech was more concerned with Elul than getting in the way of a hungry lion. Reb Chaim Volozhin passed out from mentioning it. What about us?
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