The name “Elul”, the month which begins on Shabbos Parshas Re’eh this year (as it did in 5751 when this sicha was spoken), famously stands for “Ani L‘dodi V‘dodi Li”, “I am for my Beloved, and my Beloved is for me”. The first part of this verse, “I am for my Beloved”, refers to the avodah from below to Above, the second part (“and my Beloved is for me”) reflects the awakening from Above which follows. In other words, in Elul we serve Hashem from our own power (taking a spiritual accounting, repenting for what is lacking, and making spiritual improvements) and this generates the Awakening from Above which are the lofty revelations of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
The Shelah writes that there is a connection between every parsha and the days when it comes out, meaning in our case a connection between parshas Re’eh and the month of Elul. But whereas the emphasis in Elul is the avodah from below to Above, the very first verse of our parsha is the opposite: “See I am giving you today blessing”, from Above to below. These are completely opposite?! The Rebbe explains this seeming contradiction by first pointing out that although Elul is a month of avodah from below, but the initial letters of Elul include both aspects–below to Above (“I am for my Beloved”) and Above to below (“my Beloved is for me”). More than that, the avodah of Elul itself includes both. It is explained in Chassidus that in the month of Elul “the King is in the field”, meaning that there is a lofty–but hidden–revelation from Above which gives the potential to each and every Jew to bring himself, through his own effort from below, to be suitable to enter the King’s royal chambers on Rosh Hashanah. Thus, the avodah of Elul is inclusive of both inyonim.
The Rebbe notes that:
The avodah of the person from below to Above (“I am for my Beloved”) is (not on a lower level, as implied by it coming from “below”, which is limited by the limitations and state of the person, but rather it is actually) a higher level (“Above”) which is above all limitation. This is because as regards the true inner state of the Jew, the neshoma of the Jew, which is “truly a piece of G-dliness Above”, the level of Yechida, is in fact in a perfect state of unity with the Holy One, blessed be He.
All he needs to do is to reveal his true reality, that he is one with the Holy One, blessed be He. This is accomplished by serving Hashem in a way which transcends limitation, avodah which comes from the essence of his existence, which is that he is one with the Holy One, blessed be He. And because this is the essence of the existence of every Jew, it is relevant even at the beginning of his avodah.
Having said all that, the Rebbe proceeds to give “standing orders”:
It is incumbent to publicize and awaken in every place the avodah of Elul and, with particular emphasis, the inyan of Geulah, which in fact permeates all of this avodah. All must be permeated and done with the spirit of the Geulah (including, and especially, through learning Torah on the subjects of Geulah and the Beis haMikdash), amidst anticipation and complete certainty that immediately we are seeing with fleshly eyes that “Behold, this one (Melech Hamoshiach) comes”.
Simply put: to proclaim and to publicize in every place — with words that come from the heart — that the Holy One, blessed be He says (through his servants the Prophets) to every single Jew “See, I am giving before you today blessing”, until that literally today mamash we see with fleshly eyes the blessing of the true and complete Geulah.
[And we should add and emphasize that this declaring and publicizing of the above must be also via those who claim that they still didn’t completely “get it”, meaning completely grasping and understanding in a conscious manner. Since they also are complete in their belief, they are able (and thus, they must) publicize these things to others, beginning with their families (for surely they need not “suffer” from the fact that this matter is still not sitting well with him intellectually), and also all those who are found around him, every single Jew, and certainly through the proper effort the words will be accepted and will bring about the desired effect, including also in the one who is proclaiming and publicizing, that by him it will be internalized properly, etc.].
I have to proclaim and publicize even if I’m not completely with it? Yes, even one who is not completely with it.
Perhaps if all of us took these words of the Rebbe seriously and acted on them properly, we would already see it with fleshly eyes. It’s still not too late–“Today, if you will heed his voice“.
Yechi Adoneinu Moreinu v’Rabbeinu, Melech Hamoshiach, l’olam vo’ed!