In this classic maamar, the Alter Rebbe describes the spiritual motifs associated with the month of Elul. On one hand, the name of the month is interpreted as an acronym for the verse,1 אני לדודי ודודי לי — “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine,” indicating that this is a month when the love relationship between G‑d and the Jewish people is intensified. By beginning with “I am my Beloved’s,” it indicates that it is the Jewish people who take the initiative in deepening that bond. Conversely, he explains that there is a Divine invitation granted that enables such efforts. He illustrates the latter concept with the renowned analogy of “the king in the field,” which emphasizes how the sublime spiritual energies, the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy that create the spiritual climate of Yom Kippur, are revealed to the Jewish people in the midst of their ordinary experience during the month of Elul.

The second section of the maamar elaborates on the Divine service of teshuvah, explaining how contemplation of the serious consequences of sin generates feelings of contrite bitterness. The awareness of the separation from G‑dliness caused by sin prompts a yearning for a deeper and more powerful bond.

In its third section, the maamar explains how teshuvah is complemented by Torah study, for Torah study enables the yearning for G‑dliness to be cemented in an ongoing and continually intensifying bond.