Why do we say לדוד השם אורי in Chodesh Elul?
Chodesh Elul is a month when you must prepare. You can’t just walk in before the melech and say, “Here I am. Judge me.” You have to have hachanah l’Yom Hadin; you need to prepare for the Day of Judgement. And this mizmor speaks about the mora hadin, about the awareness and fear you should prepare yourself with.
Now, when you mention mora hadin the first thing you have to know is that Hashem must be your אורי וישעי. It means that Hashem is אורי, my light, my seichel. You’re thinking about Him and He illuminates your mind; your entire way of looking at the world is guided by the light of thinking Hakodosh Boruch Hu’s thoughts. And because of that you know that ישעי – He’s my salvation; it means that you know that whatever happens to you, He’s doing it for your benefit. It’s all for your good.
You need both things: He’s אורי – He illuminates my seichel, and ישעי – I know that the ma’asim that He gives are for my benefit. Only then could you say, ממי אירא – how could I be afraid? You have to work on that. You have to work on Hashem being אורי וישעי, that you think about Him always and that you know that He’s doing everything and that it’s all for your benefit. Then you can say, “I’m not afraid.” It’s mashma that otherwise you should be afraid; unless you have some reason to justify your confidence you have to be afraid of the Yom Hadin.
And therefore that mizmor speaks about what we have to be afraid of. It mentions constantly that we’re surrounded by enemies and the yetzer hora is a very big enemy; it’s the biggest enemy we have to worry about because constantly the yetzer hora is surrounding us.
And so this mizmor reminds us we’re in a month where we have to be ready to fight off the yetzer hora and make preparations for the Yom Hadin. If I had time, I would take a siddur and go through the whole mizmor but in general that’s the idea.
TAPE # E-123