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As it is known, Elul is called Chodesh HaRachamim, the Month of Mercy.

Many people do not know why it is called this way.  The Arizal explains that in Elul we have the beginning of the revelation of the 13 Attributes of Mercy.

If you look in the Zohar in the Idra Zuta, (some say that the Idra Zuta is the highest revelations of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai which were revealed before his passing) we see that really the time of the revelation of the 13 Attributes of Mercy is during the Asseret Yimay Teshuva (the 10 days of Repentance from Rosh Hashana until Yom Kippur). With this, we can understand why everyone says that the month of Elul is a month of preparation for the 10 days of teshuva because Elul is the beginning of the revelation of the 13 Attributes of Mercy.

So what is there for you?

If you are sefardi, you are about to begin saying selichot. (The minhag of the Arizal was to say the selichot the whole month of Elul along with the congregation, word for word.) Within the selichot there are 12 parts that have different orders of alef beit. In the Siddur Harashash it is brought down that these 12 paragraphs correspond to all 12 partzufim (spiritual identities that move the abundance of each world up and down, elevating the shefa and bringing down new shefa). So when you say the selichot, you can have in mind to ask for the mercy of Hashem for the full structure of the partzufim of the spiritual worlds that they will bring down and circulate spiritual abundance.

If you are Ashkenazi, you can still have this same kavvana when you hear the blowing of the shofar after Shacharis.

The paragraph of Tehillim “LeDavid” that we say from the beginning of Elul has the name of Hashem (YK”VK) 13 times. When you say this paragraph meditate on the 13 Attributes of Mercy.

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