What is Shovavim?

The Ari HaKadosh revealed that the days of Shovavim the weeks from Parshas Sh’mos to Parshas Mishpatim are a period auspicious for Teshuva and Tikkun.

The word Shovavim is from the Passuk שובו בנים שובבים. The word שובבים is also an acronym for שמות וארא בא בשלח יתרו משפטים. In a leap year, like this year, it continues another two weeks, תרומה תצוה, hence this year the time is called שובבי”ם ת”ת.

The Ari HaKadosh explains that when the Yidden were in Mitzrayim, the hard work was in order to lift up all Nitzotzos Hakedushah (- holy sparks, so to speak) that fell in wrong places after the sin of Adam Harishon. Through the hard work and suffering they lifted up most of it. We still need work on the rest of the Nitzotzos and when they are all completely restored, Mashiach will come.

The Levi’im who didn’t work hard, did the work of lifting the Nitzotzos by Torah and Avodah.

What the concept of Nitzotzos means, is deep Kabbalistic teachings and are in the domain of the people who are devoted to a life of high-level purity. The Seforim teach us what is relevant for us to know. With every sin, and even more with sins of Kedushah, Nitzotzos fall into the Kelipos. By learning Torah, doing Mitzvos, and accepting suffering ‘Be’ahavah’, we lift them out of their Gallus.

The biggest Tikkun happens when one overcomes their challenges and does the right thing. When it’s difficult for a person to learn Torah or do Mitzvos, it is an opportunity to make major leaps in fixing one’s sins and fixing the world.

We don’t want to have to be ‘Mesakein’ – מתקן through suffering and hardship. It’s much rather to be ‘Mesakein’ through overcoming our Yetzer Harah and growing in Avodas Hashem.

In these weeks Chasidim focus a lot on learning much more than regular. Also, Shabbos of those weeks are a major focus. On Shabbos we read the Parshah of Mitzrayim and the Yidden leaving the Gallus and reaching the Tikkun of Kabbalos Hatorah. When we read the Parshah it invokes the power of these events and it makes them relevant today.

One of the greatest challenges is to not only overcome bad Middos and do the right thing whenever possible, but to do the right thing with Simcha and with Chiyyus. It is difficult to do so at the beginning, but when one brings Chiyyus into their day to day life, they become a different person. Especially Shovavim time when the long winter is upon us and it can affect our moods.

Kedushah and Chiyyus are interchangeable. When there is Chiyyus there is Kedushah and it makes the greatest Tikkunim, and when there is Kedushah there is Chiyyus. May it be so by all of us!