Yom Kippur Katan:
Many are accustomed on Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul to fast and recite the Seder of Yom Kippur Katan, even if they are not particular to do so the rest of the year. However some meticulous men are not accustomed to do so even on Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul, [and so is the Chabad custom].
The acronyms of Elul
In general there are five acronyms given for the month of Elul each corresponding to a different Divine service of the month. It covers the service of Torah; Tefila; Tzedaka; Teshuvah and Geula. A further two acronyms have been brought from other sources.
- אנה לידו ושמתי לך
- אני לדודי ודודי לי
- איש לרעהו ומתנות לאביונים
- את לבבך ואת לבב
- אשירה להשם ויאמרו לאמר
- אוי לרשע ואוי לשכינו
- ארון לוחות ושברי לוחות
1. “Ina Leyado Vesamti Lach”:
This acronym is brought by the Arizal. It represents that Elul is an auspicious time for ones repentance to be accepted for all previous sins done during the year. It also represents that one must repent even for inadvertent sins. It also corresponds to Torah learning, that in the month of Elul one must strengthen in Torah learning.
2. “Ani Ledodi Vedodi Li”:
This acronym is brought by the Abudarham. It represents the service of prayer as prayer attaches a Jew to
3. “Ish Lereieihu Umatanos Laevyonim”:
This acronym is brought by the Amrakel. It represents the service of Gemilus Chasadim and the giving of Tzedaka.
4. “Umal Hashem Elokecha Es Levavcha Vies Levav Zarecha:
This acronym represents the service of Teshuvah.
5. “Ashira Lahashem Vayomru Leimor”:
This acronym represents the Geula as the Shira sang by the sea had reference to the resurrection. This acronym is a hint towards the purpose of our Avoda. It also includes an Avoda of serving Hashem with the absolute faith in Moshiach’s arrival, and in a way of tranquility, as will occur in the times of the redemption.
6. “Oiy Lirasha Veoiy Leshcheino”:
This acronym is brought by the Migaleh Amukos. It represents the service of Teshuvah, the breaking of the heart which is expressed with the woe “Oiy”. This service refines the negativity in the month of Av which is a neighbor of Elul.
7. “Aron Luchos Veshivrei Luchos”:
This acronym is brought by the Migaleh Amukos. It represents the service of Teshuvah, as the broken Luchos represent the Avoda of Teshuvah. The breaking of the Luchos represent the advantage of a Baal Teshuvah over Tzaddikim.
 Mateh Efraim 581/3; Kaf Hachaim 581/23
 See Shaar Yissachar Elul that the second 40 days which achieved the appeasement of G-d after the sin of the Eigel concluded on the 29th of Menachem Av. It is thus called Yom Kippur Katan as it is similar to the third set of 40 days which concluded on Yom Kippur. It is due to this month that all the other Erev Rosh Chodesh are also called Yom Kippur Katan.
 Otzer Minhagei Chabad 4
 Peri Eitz Chaim Shaar Rosh Hashanah 1; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128/1
 Kitzur SHU”A ibid
 Likkutei Sichos 2 p. 307; 24/177; Hisvadyos 1990 4 p. 281 footnote 78
The reason: As the words of Torah protect a person [Koltin] just like a city of refuge. [Makos 10a]
 Abudarham Seder Tefilas Rosh Hashanah chapter 1, brought in M”B 581 introduction.
 Kitzur SHU”A ibid
 See Likkutei Sichos 24/177; Or Hatorah Bireishis 30/8
 Likkutei Torah Re’e 32a
 Sefer Amrachel brought in Elya Raba 581; Arugas Bosem; Kitzur SHU”A ibid; See Likkutei Sichos 29/272
 Abudarham; Baal Haturim Dvarim 30/6; Bach 581; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128/1; Brought in M”B 581 introduction; Likkutei Torah Riei 19
 Shulchan Aruch Harizal Elul; Hisvadyos 1986 4 p. 290; Likkutei Sichos 24/313
 Megaleh Amukos Eikev 55/1; See Shaar Hamoadim Elul 10 [p. 46]
 Megaleh Amukos 55/1; See Shaar Hamoadim Elul 11 [p. 47]