This Shabbat we welcome the Jewish month of Elul. Elul is the last month of the Jewish year and a time of preparation for the upcoming High Holidays. The Chassidic masters describe Elul as a time when “the King is in the field”; God figuratively leaves His inner chamber, His palace, His royal city and comes to be together with each of us, where we are – “in the field”.
This is a most beautiful analogy to share with our children, who are naturally and innocently attuned to its message: Hashem wants to be close to us, as we are, in our dirty ‘work clothes’. We don’t have to be perfect; we don’t even have to strive for perfection. We prepare for the new year by showing up and recognizing how Hashem deeply desires a relationship with each of us and therefore comes closer. It is up to us only to recognize it and respond.