Soon the month of Elul is starting, the month of mercy and forgiveness. Elul is traditionally a month of introspection which culminates in the high holidays of Rosh Hashanah (New Year) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement).
During Elul Jews concentrate on the upcoming period of judgment and reconciliation.
Each morning the shofar is blown and penitential prayers are said. Jews the world over see this period as a time of new beginning.