1. The third of Elul possesses a unique quality. It establishes a chazakah (a presumption that can be relied upon) in regard to all aspects of the service of the month of Elul.1 This involves the three services of Torah, prayer, and deeds of kindness, and also the services of Teshuvah and redemption. The connection of these services to Elul is so fundamental that the very name Elul serves as an acronym for Biblical verses alluding to these services.

Each day of Elul should be filled with these three services.2 Generally, each person has a particular service which serves as a gateway through which all his service ascends. The particular service which is the gateway for each individual is different depending on the source of his soul. For example, a person whose soul emanates from the attribute of Chessed will have more energy and vitality in the services that reflect that attribute.

Similarly, the different times of the year are also connected with different qualities and thus, different services. What is unique about Elul is that it is connected with all these different services. This is further intensified by the fact that this is a time when “the king is in the field,” and “shows smiling countenances to all.” It is said: “Within the countenance of the king is life.” This life will add energy and vitality to all aspects of service. The means to accomplish this is through an increase in tzedakah. Since tzedakah adds “life” to the recipient, performing the mitzvah will contribute life to all aspects of services.

This is particularly true since Elul is connected with the concept of redemption. Redemption is an unbounded service connected with constant increase. As long as there is any sense of limitation, we are lacking a full measure of redemption.

May talking about these matters increase the good resolutions to carry out the appropriate services. In particular, may talking about the Messianic redemption hasten the coming of the time when we go to greet Mashiach.

In the latter context, we can learn a lesson from this week’s Torah portion which begins (translating the verse literally): “When you go out to war over your enemies.” Even when a Jew must “go out to war” and confront “enemies,” he must know that he is above them. Every Jew is G‑d’s child and G‑d provides for all his needs. Therefore, by nature, a Jew has no connection with enemies. He is only involved with G‑d.

In particular, this is true in the present era when all opposition and disturbing influences have ceased, even “the polishing of the buttons has been completed,3 and all that is necessary is to “stand prepared to greet Mashiach.” It is sufficient to learn “The Laws of Kings and their Wars” in the Mishneh Torah to satisfy anything necessary in regard to war. This study also enables a person to be a king over himself in all aspects of his behavior and hastens the revelation of a king of Israel, the complete and ultimate king — Mashiach.