Rabbi Yochanan Eskenazi
The 40 day period beginning
Rosh Chodesh Elul
is a period that is an
(an auspicious time), a time that our
(repentance) is more easily accepted. There are allusions to this in
(I am for my Beloved and my Beloved is mine) [
Shir Hashirim 6:3
]. Furthermore, the Torah [
] states "
U'mul Hashem Elokecha
your God, will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring). The first letters of these words are
Alef, Lamed, Vuv, Lamed
, which spells
. Additionally, the
(numerical value) of the end letters [of
Ani L'dodi V'dodi Le-
] equals to 40 [10 x 4] which hints to that there are 40 days that
is close (Mishneh Berurah 581: introduction).
There is a custom to recite 10 chapters of
(Psalms) each day during
, in order to complete the entire
two times before
(Mishneh Berurah 581:1).
If possible, it is better not to recite
at night [during
and the rest of the year] (Koveitz Halachos 1:10). Additionally, many people have their
checked during the month of
(Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:3).
One who writes a letter to a friend during the month of
should include wishes for a
k'siva v'chasima tova
(you should be inscribed for a good year) (Mateh Ephraim 581:9 & Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:2). Therefore, if one is speaking to or writing an email to a friend who he does not intend to speak to again before
should include wishes for a good year (Rabbi Biberfeld,
is blown during the entire month of
, since hearing the
arouses a person to repent (Rama 581:1). The prevalent custom is to blow the
in the morning after
(Aruch Hashulchan 581:1). If there is no adult available, a
(boy younger than 13 years old) may blow the
(Koveitz Halachos 1:18). One does not need to stand while the
is being blown (Koveitz Halachos 1:17). If the congregation forgot to blow
in the morning, it is proper to blow by
(Igros Moshe OC 4:21:5). If an individual missed hearing
, it is proper for him to blow himself or hear from someone else, although it is not obligatory (Koveitz Halachos 1:21). If one is
davening shemoneh esrei
is being blown, it is proper to pause and concentrate on the
(Koveitz Halachos 1:22).
is to recite the chapter "
L'Dovid Hashem oree v'yeeshee"
(Mishneh Berurah 581:2). Anyone who says this paragraph from
Rosh Chodesh Elul
is able to nullify bad decrees against him and merit being innocent in judgment (Sefer Shloshim Yom Kodem Hachag pg. 3 fn. 6 quoting Sefer Sheim Katan). One should recite it at the end of
, after the
shir shel yom
] (Mishneh Berurah 581:2).
There are different customs regarding which
. Some congregations say it after
(Mishneh Berurah 581:2) while others say it after
(Alef Ha'magen 581:10). One who is
that says it during a different
than he is accustomed to saying it, is not required to say it together with them (Shloshim Yom Kodem Hachag pg. 3 fn.8 quoting Shu"T Divrei Moshe 1:35).