We are now entering the Hebrew month of Elul, the month that is an acronym for “ Ani l’dodi, v’dodi li” (I am to my beloved, my beloved is to me). It is a month when Hashem is very close to us and accepts our prayers with a happy face. It is the month of the King in the field. A parable is told about a King who goes into the field to greet his subjects on their level. This is the month of Elul, when the King is in the field, easily accessible to everyone. It is the time to pray and do teshuvah (repentance) and return to G-d whole heartedly. This is the preparation for the month of Tishrei and the new year coming up on Rosh Hashanah. May we all take advantage of this special month, the month when Hashem’s attribute of mercy awakens after the harshness of the three weeks, and it is the month when His thirteen attributes of mercy (Yud Gimmel middos harachamim) shine openly. May we all merit a new year filled with mercy, good news, good health and simchas. Ketiva vchatima tova, shana tova umetuka, to all.