How could you tell?

להתקרב אליו יתברך ולשבור כל המחיצות המפסיקות בינו לבין קונו הן הנה כל עניני
החומריות והתלוי בהם, עד שימשך אחריו יתברך ממש כברזל אחר אבן השואבת
מסילת ישרים פ”א

In the Siberian cold and wind metal would quickly rust. In order to differentiate which metal is worthy to save or not, they would try to lift the metal with a strong magnet. If the metal was rusty through and through it will not be pulled. But if in the center there was good metal it would get pulled after the magnet.

Similarly, Hashem comes close to us during Elul, if we get pulled to Hashem its shows that we are not totally rusted. But if C”V we’re indifferent in Elul it’s not a good sign.
R’ Y. Ziberstein

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