The 18th day of Elul, 'CHAI ELUL' (Wednesday), inaugurates a 12-day countdown—one day per month of the old year—till Rosh Hashana.
It is also the anniversary of: the birth of the Baal Shem Tov, and of the Baal HaTanya (and the yahrzeit of the Maharal of Prague,
as well as the date on which the Besht revealed the Chasidic movement, in 1734).
Articles #1-2 are samples of their respective teachings, while the story (#7) features both of them 'performing'.

On Saturday night Askenazic Jews start the distinctive pre-Rosh Hashana Selichot/Forgiveness prayers (next week's lead article) -- Sephardim will have been reciting them for three weeks already.