Section: Moadim   Category: Around The Year
Shovavim - A Sign Of The Times
I saw a very sharp quote that made me stop and think about how I relate to the period of the year known as Shovavim (the days of Parshas Shemos, VaEirah,...Mishpatim).  The person asked, why do we believe everything we read in the newspaper, but question everything we read in the Torah?

When we were young they taught us that the time for tshuva is Elul until Ne'ila on Yom Kippur.  At that time the gates are closed and our fate is sealed.  As we got older we found out that the final, final deadline is Hoshana Rabba.  As we continued to explore the mystical world, the concept of Zos Chanuka came up as the really, really last chance for Tshuva.  Then you hear about Shovavim, and in  moment of weakness you wonder if these extensions will go on forever.

Shovavim is something that came from the Mekubalim.  I once heard it explained that as the generations get weaker, Hashem reveals to us the hidden light that can be found deeper into the year.  Let's face it, we didn't really do a great job on Aseres Yimei Tshuva and Hashem is showing us these loopholes and extensions because he yearns for us to return and wants us to take advantage.  This ties in nicely with something I heard from the Chofetz Chaim who when asked skeptically about Yom Kippur Katan, said that we no longer can go a whole year without a Yom Kippur.  We need one once a month.

Just like the earth grew in the olden days with every new adventurer's journey, the galaxy keeps growing with every new powerful telescope or satellite.  Even on earth itself the possibilities keep growing as Hashem opens our eyes and teaches how to harness nature to do amazing things like talk into a small hand-held box to someone across the ocean.

We who live in an era of science fiction should be the last ones to doubt that Hashem has newly revealed to us flashes of spiritual energy tied into the days of the year, that weren't known many years ago.  Maybe the Rambam didn't know about Shovavim but maybe he didn't need to, because he wasn't dreaming about his new smartphone on Yom Kippur.