Elul in the beginning of August? They seem opposite. Elul is a serious and reflective period, and summer has a relaxed tone to it. Is there anything we can learn from a calendar like this year’s when Labor Day is more than three weeks after the first sound of the shofar?
Perhaps the message is that, sure, the month of Elul is a time for reflection and introspection, but these should not be done exclusively with seriousness and dread. The mere knowledge that Hashem sets aside time on the calendar to return to Him should fill us with a sense of joy. Especially when we know that ultimately “the judge is also our father” and is rooting for us to be victorious in judgement!
The element of joy also adds energy into the process. After many years of “starting anew” it’s easy to become cynical. Joy brings interest which leads to renewed vigor in trying to be a better person.
May Hashem indeed listen to our tefillos and give us a year of health, joy, and success.
Wishing you an inspirational and joyful Shabbos Rosh Chodesh Elul,