We may begin this month of Elul with our backs turned away from Hashem, wondering whether Hashem has ‘turned His back’ on us as well. Yet, if we turn around, we will see that Hashem is still facing us, with endless compassion, patience and grace.
Healthy relationships are built on unconditional giving, treating others’ needs as equivalent to our own. Unfortunately, our yetzer hara often puts the ‘me’ in front of the ‘you’, leading us to become frustrated or disappointed in life and how we are treated. Elul is the month to minimize our egos, this part of us that likes to ‘play G-d.’ Instead, we can strive to place Hashem’s needs before our own.
Hashem created teshuva before He created existence. He knows we are not perfect and that we need a method to ‘return’ to Him. The Zohar teaches that there are 3 powerful tefillot (all in Tehillim): tefilla l’Dovid, tefilla ;l’Moshe and tefilla l’Ani. Yet, even more exalted than the tefillah of Dovid HaMelech or Moshe Rabbeinu are the prayers of the “ish ani”, the downtrodden and broken-hearted man. Hashem considers a person who prays heartfelt words of desire to come back to Him and repair the damage he caused via his transgressions as the most beloved of all!