Welcome to our special CHAI ELUL issue.
18 Elul 5494 (1734) was the day the Baal Shem Tov (articles #1-3) was decreed by Heaven to reveal the previously underground Chassidic movement.
Chai Elul is also his birth date (1698) and, in 1745, that of Rabbi Shneur-Zalman (article #4), founder of the Chabad Chasidic movement.
Last week's magazine featured a story, still available on this week's home page, that "stars" both of these two major illuminaries of the Torah's mystic aspects.
Plus, Chai Elul is also the yahrzeit of the Maharal of Prague (article #5), who departed this world in 1609.

On Saturday night Askenazic Jews start the distinctive pre-Rosh Hashanah Selichot/Forgiveness prayers — see articles 6, 7; (Sephardim have been reciting them for three weeks already).

Next week: Our special Rosh Hashana 5780 issue. For a head start on themes of the Jewish new year's day, see articles 1,4,6.