[Upon cutting spoilage out of a cabbage]
It seems queer to me; this cabbage that has such deeply ingrained spoilage that a foul odor emanates from it also has parts with a palpable freshness. Is it a spoiled cabbage? No. Is it a fresh cabbage? No! But from it's exterior one would consider it spoiled. All that can redeem it is an amputation of the affected tissue.
What is of gravest concern is if the spoilage reaches our core, our id. Of course even such a growth can be removed, but at that point all that would be left is a very small and awkwardly shaped piece of cabbage . The non-soiled parts are so negligible that it might as well be discarded. It should not be that the only purity within us is such a negligible part of our personalities that we aren't "worth keeping" in the day of judgement.
This conflict is by far one of the most crucial; the fight for our core; what defines us. Will it be the spoilage within us or crisp cabbagy freshness. And what better time to engage in this conflict if not now, during the month which precedes our judgment? Even if it seems that the lions-share of our "מהות" is spoilage, what can often be found during Ellul is that the spoilage is not intrinsic within us. Our fresh parts testify that we have our source in steadfast and fertile ground; ground that yields only the freshest of cabbages. Rather it is, many times, external influences (from other spoiled produce) that has blackened our exterior. That or disuse. But the "pintele cabbage" is, and always will be, pure and ruggedly fresh.
All that can be done in this struggle then, aside from attempting to expressly amputate major parts of ourselves is a removal from these spoiled exteriors, into the world of the interior. The interior world of Ellul. It's not quite the same as placing the cabbage in an exterior that encourages freshness, such as a refrigerator (a yeshiva, or any other place of potential spiritual growth), but even within our daily drudgeries there must be a place made for introspections of this sort.
[I forgot why I ever stopped signing my name.]