The Jewish Eye
Elul: In The Shadows Of a Holocaust
For most of Klal Yisroel the past 60 years have been among the most tranquil and prosperous periods for the Jews in the History of this 2000 year galus. Explains Rav Shimshon Pincus Zt"l if a child who is misbehaving both in school and at home asks for the latest expensive electronic gizmo his parents will not give it to him. If heaven forbid the next day the child is in a life threatening car accident and winds up in the hospital for a few months, when he finally comes home it would not be surprising to be showered with love and probably even find the coveted electronic game sitting on his bed all wrapped up as a welcome home gift. The child would be wise to understand that this is purely by the grace of sympathy. If he doesn't shape up in a few months he should not expect this kind of treatment.
Similarly with Am Yisroel we go through cycles roughly every 60-80 years. During the good times we tend to stray from Hashem. After enough time, the period of reckoning comes and our collective punishment comes in the form of oppression or worse from our hosts in Galus. After this dark period ends our sympathetic and heartbroken Father showers upon us a generous dose of undeserved prosperity and tranquility. After the Holocaust, Hashem provided us with a new safe and prosperous home in America and gave us back the keys to Eretz Yisroel which we are enjoying today.
The Jewish year has the same cycle. Chodesh Av is bleak month filled with pain and tears. These tears sprout forth the love and sympathy of Chodesh Elul. In Elul we can ask for new toys in the form of health, children, shiduchim and prosperity for the upcoming year. All we need to do is make an effort to reciprocate Hashem's love and show that we want to stay close forever this time around.
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