These Special Days of Elul
During these special days of Elul, there is a custom to recite “Tikunei Zohar”. It has a very great power to awaken the innermost parts of the soul to feel its closeness with Hashem. This is because the Tikunei Zohar speaks a lot about the holiness and exaltedness of the Jew, and the holiness of each part of a Jew’s body, and what it all represents.
In addition Reb Nosson instituted the custom of reciting the books of Rebbe Nachman throughout Elul, i.e. Likutei Moharan, Sichos HaRan, Sefer HaMidos, Sipurey Masiyos. It would be proper to try to keep to this holy custom, everybody however much he can. Even if you see that you will be unable to finish, and even if it’s a couple of days into Elul already, it’s still good to start. Whatever you accomplish is good.
In Sichos HaRan (Rabbi Nachman’s Wisdom) #127, the Rebbe discusses Elul. He says that this custom of reciting Tikkunim in Elul, as well as the tune which many people recite it with, and also the weakness that people might feel from spending more time than usual studying Torah during Elul, all accomplish very great things.
It‘s self understood, that a big part of that is the spiritual arousal one feels from his recital, by reciting the Tikunei Zohar with vigor and energy. If so, it may be better not be so rushed in the reciting, swallowing the words, etc. from the pressure of trying to finish. The main thing is to awaken the soul to its closeness to Hashem. Therefore it’s better to recite with enthusiasm and sweetness, word after word, even if he knows that he will not finish this year. Then it’s possible through reciting just a few pages to feel very much enlightened, and to kindle his heart to Hashem.
Adapted by Ephraim Portnoy
Original by AY Kletzky