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960 Hours

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 7/9/2019

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960 Hours

In these days we have the power to purify ourselves. The 40 days from the beginning of Elul until Yom Kippur[1] are like a Mikva. In each day there are 24 hours. Multiplying 40 (days) by 24 (hours), we arrive at a total of 960. This is the amount of water in Lugin (measurement) that a Mikva contains (40 סאה is 960 Lugin).  In this way we can grasp מה מקוה מטהר את הטמאים אף הקב"ה מטהר את ישראל;[2] just as a Mikva purifies the impure in the 960 Lugin of the Mikva, Hashem purifies us in these 960 hours.[3]  

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.

[1] These are 40 days of Teshuva since Moshe ascended to heaven for the second Luchos during this period (Pirkei Drebi Eliezer 46. See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:2, Mishna Brura, Hilchos Rosh Hashana 581). The Chassam Sofer teaches that during these days we should pour out our שיח (speech) to Hashem as it says ולפני ה' ישפך שיחו; pour forth supplications before Hashem (with Vidui and the like)- Tehillim 102:1. 40 (days) is the numerical value of מ. Adding a מ to the word שיח we get משיח. This brings Moshiach closer. Moreover, משיח shares the same sum as נחש (358) since there is a Nachash in Kedusha- Yishai, the father of Mashiach, as this is what he is referred to- אביגל בת נחש (Shmuel 2, 17:25).

[2] Yoma 85b

[3] Bnei Yissaschar, Elul 1:15

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