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Seven Months, Seven Shepherds
The Arizal tells us that the seven
months from Nissan to Tishrei correspond to the seven shepherds- Avraham,
Yitzchak, Yaakov, Moshe, Aharon, Yosef, and Dovid.
1) Nissan corresponds to Avraham since he
personifies the trait of Chessed as it says חסד
Likewise, Nissan symbolizes Chessed- זכרתי לך
חסד נעוריך; I recall for you the kindness of your youth.
Nissan is the time Hashem showered us with Chessed as He took us out of
Mitzrayim, gave the well of Miriam
as well as the מן in addition to the ענני הכבוד; clouds of glory.
2) The month of Iyar matches up with Yitzchak.
The entire month of Iyar has Sefira contained within
it- a time when we refine ourselves. This aligns with the attribute of
Yitzchak- דין; discipline.
3) Sivan parallels Yaakov since he symbolizes
Torah as he is called איש תם ישב אהלים;
abiding in tents of Torah. Shavuos- the Yom Tov of Torah- occurs in the month
4) Tamuz corresponds to Moshe since this is
when he descended from heaven with the first Luchos.
5) The month of Av parallels Aharon. The
Churban transpired in Av and the Avoda of Aharon- the Kohen Gadol- takes place
in the Beis Hamikdash. Furthermore, the Yartzheit of Aharon is in this month.
6) Elul- the time we attempt to purify
ourselves- lines up with Yosef. This accords with Yosef as he is the one who
exemplifies purity since he overcame the test with the wife of Potifar in the
area of circumcision.
It, therefore, comes as no surprise that the first letters of ומל...את
...circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring… spell אלול. Additionally, the seven days of the week correspond to the seven
shepherds. Consequently, Yosef- the sixth Shepard- matches up with Friday, the
6th day. Friday is the day of preparation for Shabbos as inמי שטרח בערב שבת יאכל בשבת;
whoever toiled on Friday will eat on Shabbos and והיה ביום
הששי והכינו את אשר יביאו;it shall be on the sixth day
when they prepare what they bring. This is akin to Elul- the sixth month- which
is a preparation for Tishrei- the seventh month.
7) Tishrei is connected with
Dovid Hamelech as he represents Malchus.
Rosh Hashana takes place in Tishrei where we say Pesukim that speak of Hashem’s
Kingship (מלכיות)-עליכם כדי שתמליכוני; in
order to accept Hashem’s sovereignty.
Furthermore, in Tishrei we sayהמלך הקדוש
and המלך המשפט.
R’ Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai
Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman
Nechemia Goldberg. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites
and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim
where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching
Jews of all levels of observance.
In contrast to Nissan and Sivan where Sefira is only
in part of the month.
Bamidbar 33:38. See Haamik Davar there.
Breishis 39. The Gemara (Eruvin 21b) remarks הדודאים נתנו
the violets emit a fragrance (Shir Hashirim 7:14) refers to בחורי ישראל;
young men of Israel that have not tasted sin (Tahara). The word הדודאים is
the plural of דודי. This hints to the month of Elul where there are two
דודיs as it says אני לדודי
ודודי לי (Shir Hashirim 6:3) where its initials spell אלול. Is
it any wonder that the Mazel of Elul is בתולה?!
Devarim 30:6. See Baal Haturim there.
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