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Taking It With You-Elul Kavanot-Tachanun

Reb Shmelke and Rav Moshe Leib of Sassov were traveling together on a ship when a dangerous storm threatened to destroy the vessel.. Reb Shmelke went over to the Sassover and perceived that he was engaged in a joyful dance.


“Why are you dancing?”

“I am overjoyed at the thought that I shall soon arrive at the mansion of my Father.”

“I shall join you then.”

But the storm spent its force, and the ship reached port in safety (Menorah haTehorah, page 49).

“For there is no mention of You in death; in the Lower World who will think You?” Tachanun inevitably makes us think of death. We fall on our faces and, if recited properly, tears flow, “with my tears I soak my couch.” Perhaps, during the month of Elul, when we are approaching a judgment of life or death, we can use the Sassover’s approach, “I am overjoyed at the thought that I shall soon arrived at the mansion of my Father,” and recite the Tachanun with a little dance in our movement even as we fall on our faces.

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