The Month Of Elul- The King Is In The Field (+Live Kabbalah Video)Aug 14, 2018
By: Rabbi Amichai Cohen
The King Is In The Field- Get out of the desert!
In his Song of Songs, King Solomon writes a most eloquent and deep passage representing a multitude of relationships. The verse “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine” (Song of Songs 6:3) is an immediate allusion to the month of Elul, for in its original Hebrew, “Ani ledodi v’dodi li,” the letters beginning each word serve as an acronym for this month.
Elul is the month preceding Tishrei, the beginning of the Jewish year, starting with the holiday of Rosh Hashanah and culminating with the festival of Hoshana Rabbah. It is during the month of Elul that we try and focus on our past year, reflecting on our deeds, atoning for our mistakes and contemplating our actions and changes for the new year to come. Therefore, as we will see, this statement of King Solomon’s is not only a statement between two lovers but, more importantly, represents our relationship with our Creator.
Contrary to the qualities of a desert, a field can be cultivated; it is a place where things can grow, develop and flourish. As stated in Job, “There is a land where food once grew” (Job 28:5). Therefore, a field naturally is more spiritually and physically elevated than a desert.
However, why did the Alter Rebbe choose to employ the example of a field rather than a city?
Cities symbolize physicality which is already inside the domain of the holy, for a city is surrounded by a wall, which separates the houses within from the outside world. Conversely, deserts are found beyond a city’s boundary. They represent objects which are removed from the purview of divinity. Fields, though, allegorize an intermediate state. Although they too lie outside cities, nonetheless, foodstuffs cultivated there are purified by human consumption. As a result, they too are elevated into the realm of divinity—the city.
Fields, then, symbolize humankind’s raison d’etre: the divine service of purifying worldly objects and effecting their ascent into the realm of the holy. For this reason, all the Temple sacrifices are called “food,” as the verse states, “My offering, the bread of my sacrifices made by fire” (Numbers 28:2). Sacrifices purify and elevate animate and inanimate things.
Get out of the lowly desert and enter the field. Ani L'Dodi - V'Dodi Li
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