Written by Rabbi Naftali Estulin, Shliach to Los Angeles
The Chassid, R’ Avrohom Maiyor would say that the two months of Elul and Tishrei are “the Rebbe’s months,” since what makes them special and an auspicious time is in the merit of Moshe Rabbeinu.
It is not necessary to learn drushei Chassidus to know this. It’s enough to open a Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, the beginning of siman 128, where it states:
“These days are more choice for repentance, being days of mercy and favor, for on Rosh Chodesh Elul, Moshe ascended Mount Sinai to receive the second Luchos. He remained there for forty days and descended on 10 Tishrei which was the completion of the atonement. Since then, these days have been dedicated as days of favor and the 10th of Tishrei as Yom Kippur.”
The foundation and start of these days of favor are directly connected with Moshe Rabbeinu. Moshe is the one who first aroused mercy during these days and surely he, and the Moshe Rabbeinu in every generation, draws this favor into every single year.
The fact that during these days many Jews are inspired to repentance, knowing that these days are more auspicious and are a time of divine favor, comes from the power of the Moshe of the generation, the Rebbe.
This ought to be deeply ingrained in every Chassid and even by those who are not Chassidim. They should know that the Rebbe is the one who concerns himself with arousing divine favor for each person. This knowledge will surely arouse a special merit, the merit of our Rebbeim up to and including the Rebbe MH”M. Then the arousal to repentance and the time of favor will be on an entirely different plane.
As the Rebbe once explained, the practice to sing “Avinu Malkeinu” (the Alter Rebbe’s niggun) before each t’filla on Rosh Hashana including Maariv, even though we don’t say Avinu Malkeinu then, is to mention the merit of our ancestors, i.e. the merit of the Alter Rebbe.
When living with the Rebbeim, and trying to connect to everything about the Nasi HaDor, we find some very interesting things. For example, the number nine.
There are a number of things connected to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur that have to do with the number nine. That we say three extra chapters of T’hillim a day during these days was received by tradition from Rebbe to Rebbe at the age of nine. It was like that for the Mitteler Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek, the Rebbe Maharash, the Rebbe Rashab, and the Rebbe Rayatz.
During the t’filla for Rosh Hashana we have nine blessings, and on Erev Yom Kippur we circle the chicken for Kaparos nine times around our head.
What is special about the number nine? It says in the fourth chapter of Gemara Brachos, “What do the nine (blessings in the Amida prayer) of Rosh Hashana correspond to? R’ Yitzchok of Carthage says that they correspond to the nine ‘mentions’ (i. e. the name Y-H-V-H) that Chana said in her prayer.”
When Chassidim speak about “Chana,” they immediately think about the mother of royalty, who brought the Rebbe, the ninth from the Baal Shem Tov, into the world.
It is interesting to note that this statement of Chazal is quoted in a maamar that the Rebbe Rayatz said on Rosh Hashana 5629, the year the Rebbe got married, which connected the Rebbe to the Chassidim and turned the Rebbe into the ninth generation of Chabad Chassidus.
From Chana, the mother of Shmuel, who established the Malchus Beis Dovid, we go in our generation to Chana, the mother of the Rebbe, whose fiftieth yahrtzait was this year, and who brought into the world the one who will bring the completion of the Malchus Beis Dovid.