Reading Tikkunei Zohar in Chodesh Elul

Reading Tikkunei Zohar in Chodesh Elul:

Some have a custom to read the Tikkunei Zohar during Elul, one each of the 40 days from Rosh Chodesh Elul until Yom Kippur.[1] They begin the reading on Rosh Chodesh Elul and complete it on Yom Kippur.[2] Some prints of Tikkunei Zohar contain a daily section of recital for each of the 40 days, so it be completed by Yom Kippur.[3] One is specifically to study Tikkunei Zohar and not the regular Zohar.[4] One is to read it even if he does not understand any of the words.[5] The reason for this is because the words of the Zohar are very holy and elevates the person who reads them. This custom was followed in the communities in Eretz Yisrael and Poland, and they would read one to two pages per day in the month of Elul.[6] The Rebbe Rayatz records that this custom was practiced also in Lubavitch[7] and hence we see that it was accepted also amongst Chabad Chassidim. Nevertheless, this does not mean that Chabad Chassidim are required to religiously do so, but simply that it is an acceptable custom to follow.[8] [Regarding the general encouragement of reading Zohar, it is recorded in Sefarim that reading Zohar throughout the year has a great effect on the soul, even if one does not understand what he is saying.[9] The Rebbe Rayatz stated that he had a set Seder in reading Zohar.[10]]

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[1] Kisei Melech Hakdama 1; Mishnas Chassidim Miseches Teshuvah; Or Tzaddikim; Chida in Moreh Baetzba 248; Kaf Hachaim 581:7; Kitzei Hamateh 603:7; Or Letziyon 4:2-1; This custom is mentioned in Likkutei Dibburim Vol 1 page 151-158 as a custom that existed in Lubavitch.

[2] Kaf Hachaim ibid

[3] Kitzei Hamateh ibid; Toras Menachem 34:303

[4] See Ben Ish Chaiy in his Hakdama to Beniyahu; Toras Menachem 34:303; Or Letziyon ibid

[5] Kitzei Hamateh ibid; See Toras Menachem 34:303; Chida in Chaim Sheol 1:75-2 that the Arizal once instructed a repenting sinner to read Zohar daily even if he does not understand it; Or Letziyon ibid

[6] Ketzei Hamateh ibid

[7] Likkutei Dibburim ibid “When one arrives to the Beis Hamidrash, one can see a large congregation, with some saying Tehillim, others learning Chassidus, and others saying Tikkunei Zohar

[8] Toras Menachem 34:303 “I searched in various areas to see if this custom has become accepted amongst Chassidei Chabad, and I have found no proof for either position until I found the above Sicha of the Rebbe Rayatz…from which it is evident that the custom of learning Tikkunei Zohar became accepted also in Lubavitch. This, however, does not mean that each person is required to learn or at least read Tikkunei Zohar, but that simply it is an accepted custom amongst Chassidei Chabad to do so.”; Sichos Kodesh 1962 p. 690 [brought in Shulchan Menachem 3:75]

[9] See Morah Baetzba 44; Siddur Rav Kopil Seder Kavanas Limud; Pela Yoeitz Erech Zohar

[10] Sefer Hasichos 5690 p. 135

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